SharePoint 2016 Installation Guide – Step by Step

SharePoint 2016 is in RTM finally with all new features. As a SharePoint administrator, you’re probably excited about the release of SharePoint 2016. In this blog post, Let’s walk through SharePoint 2016 standalone installation process step by step. We will provide a step-by-step guide for installing SharePoint 2016. We will cover the prerequisites, installation steps, and configuration settings.

System Requirements: What’s my Server Farm Configuration?
Here is my SharePoint 2016 farm’s server configuration (Hardware/software).

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard as Server Operating system and SQL Server 2014 Standard SP1 as my SQL Server instance. 
  • All my servers running with 24 GB of RAM (minimum requirement: 16 GB. For single server installation: 24 GB) and Quad-core processors. (64 bit of course!) and 120 GB in system drive and 250 GB as secondary drive (Min: 80 GB for system drive and 100 GB for applications).

Service Accounts:
For the sake of SharePoint 2016 standalone installation (single server), I’m using these two service accounts.

  • Crescent\SP16_Setup – Setup  account used for installation. You must manually assign Member of Local Administrator group on all SharePoint Servers and SQL server and SysAdmin role at SQL Server instance. (In fact, it just needs: DBcreator & SecurityAdmin server roles and DBO rights on each SharePoint Databases).
  • Crescent\SP16_Farm – Farm account / Database access account. Necessary rights will be automatically granted on the SQL Server instance when you run SharePoint products configuration wizard.

What’s new in SharePoint 2016 Installation?

It’s pretty much the same as SharePoint 2013 installation, except for the “Server Role” selection page. MinRole is introduced newly in SharePoint 2016. In a typical SharePoint installation, the installation order goes like SQL servers, App Servers, Distributed Cache, Search Servers, and Web Front End.

SharePoint 2016 Server installation steps at a high level:

  1. Install SharePoint 2016 prerequisites
  2. Install SharePoint  Server 2016
  3. Run Products configuration wizard

SharePoint 2016 Server Farm Topology:
Here is my small server farm topology for SharePoint 2016 with three servers. All these servers joined to my domain:

sharepoint 2016 installation step by step

Where to start Installation? Start with your Application Server! Your Application server hosts SharePoint 2016 central administration site and other necessary service applications.

Step 1: Install Prerequisites

We need to install SharePoint 2016 prerequisites before installing SharePoint Server 2016. Login with Setup account and start your SharePoint Server 2016 installation by installing the prerequisites. Prerequisites installer will add all necessary server roles (Application Server Role, Web Server (IIS) Role), downloads and installs all necessary components for SharePoint 2016.

  • Mount the ISO on the drive, launch “default.hta” file (or prerequisiteinstaller.exe). You’ll see the same old Splash screen! Click on the “Install software prerequisites” link under “Install”
    sharepoint 2016 installation guide
  • Accept the License Agreement and click the “Next” button sharepoint 2016 installation and configuration
  • Wait for the installation to proceed
    sharepoint 2016 install instructions
  • The pre-requisites installer takes some time and will prompt for a restart. After the restart, re-run the prerequisites again! Restart and resume back.
    sharepoint 2016 installation best practices
  • Wait for the installation completed message. Click on the “Finish” button to complete the prerequisites installation.
    sharepoint 2016 install standalone

Step 2: SharePoint Server 2016 Installation

  • After completing prerequisites installation, run the splash.hta file again and click on “Install SharePoint Server”. sharepoint 2016 installation steps
  • You’ll be prompted to enter the product key. I’ve used the 180 day Trial key: NQGJR-63HC8-XCRQH-MYVCH-3J3QR
    how to install sharepoint 2016 step by step
  • Accept license agreement
    install sharepoint server 2016
  • Choose a file location: Choose a file location for SharePoint Server and Search server index. Make sure there is sufficient disk space on the selected drive. You can use your secondary drive to store search index files. Click on “Install Now” button to start the installation process.
    sharepoint 2016 installation checklist
  • Wait for installation to complete. The installation wizard takes few minutes to complete.
    sharepoint 2016 installation on windows server 2016
  • Once completed, You’ll be taken to Run Configuration wizard page. Tick the “Run the SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard now” check box and click on Close.
    sharepoint 2016 installation single server

Step 3: Run SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard

  • You’ll be presented with the “Welcome to SharePoint Products” wizard. Run SharePoint Products configuration wizard by clicking “Next” button.
    sharepoint 2016 installation accounts
  • Click Yes for products configuration wizard restart services confirmation
    sharepoint 2016 installation guide
  • On Connect to a server farm, choose Create a new server farm. If you are already have an existing SharePoint farm created, you’ll have to choose the option “connect to an existing server farm”. We’ll be selecting this when we run products configuration wizard on our WFE server.
  • Specify configuration database settings: Enter your Database server name and proposed SharePoint farm’s configuration database names. Enter the Farm account which will be used for database access.
    sharepoint 2016 installation on windows server 2016
  • On Farm security settings page, enter the Passphrase. You’ll need this when you need to join the new server to an existing SharePoint server farm.
    sharepoint 2016 installation powershell
  • Specify Server Role. There are six roles listed in this page. You can select whichever applicable to you. This is critical as in previous versions:  If you selected Single-Server Farm, then you can’t scale out your SharePoint farm to Multi-Server environment! So if you plan to extend your farm to Multi-Server farm in future, make sure you have selected the Custom (MinRole) or Application server role. In my case, I’ve selected Application server role. Click on Next to proceed.sharepoint 2016 installation prerequisites
  • Enter the Port for SharePoint 2016 Central Administration site. Choose the authentication provider. Click Next to continue. sharepoint 2016 installation single server
  • You’ll see SharePoint products configuration wizard performing several tasks as in the below progress screen. Wait until all 10 installation tasks to complete.
    sharepoint 2016 standalone installation
  • Once completed, SharePoint products configuration wizard presents you the verify screen. You can click Back in case, you want to change any setting. Click Next to proceed.
  • Wait for the Configuration successful page. Click on “Finish” to complete SharePoint 2016 installation process.

Once you click the “Finish” button, you’ll be taken to the Initial Farm Configuration Wizard page in SharePoint 2016 Central Administration site. Instead of using the wizard which would create GUIDs in database names, use this PowerShell to start creating SharePoint 2016 farm: Create SharePoint 2016 Farm using PowerShell

For multi-server Farm: Repeat all these steps for the rest of your servers, like Application server, Web Front end Server. Choose to connect to the existing farm and select the farm configuration you created on the first server. Pick the appropriate server role, such as “Front-End”. Once done, you can proceed with creating web applications, Service applications, and site collections.

FAQs and known issues in SharePoint 2016 Installation:

  • Can I use a Single Server for SharePoint 2016 installation?
    Sure, You can use a single server. However, You need to have SQL Server 2014 installed on the server first! Unlike SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2016 doesn’t install SQL Server Express automatically as part of Single server mode.
  • Prerequisiteinstaller.exe: The system cannot find the drive specified

    This happens when you mount an ISO file and after a server reboot, it doesn’t get mounted automatically. The remedy is simple: Mount the ISO and run: Start “Launch SharePoint preparation tool” “E:\Prerequisiteinstaller.exe” /continue

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - Information Technology Expert with Two decades of hands-on experience, specializing in SharePoint, PowerShell, Microsoft 365, and related products. Passionate about sharing the deep technical knowledge and experience to help others, through the real-world articles!

10 thoughts on “SharePoint 2016 Installation Guide – Step by Step

  • Thank you so much for your technical contribution Sal:)

  • Hi,

    As you have wizard, Did you not get the Admin Content DB created with GUID. Did you use PSConfig for configuration?

  • How do I promote sites to web server instead of app server?
    Scenario is like:
    i have installed SharePoint 2016
    1. Application server (Central admin hosted on this server)
    Default site is created on this server (i.e. https://APPServer)
    2. Front end
    3. SQL
    4. Search

    created default site on app server (port 80)
    that site is also available in IIS (For both servers App and Web)

    Now when i am trying to open the default site as https://WEBServer – it gives 401 Unauthorized error after providing login detail

  • Once you install a WFE server.. do you need to run install again to provision an Application Server?

    • Yes! Binaries installation and Configuration Wizard should be repeated on each server.


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