How to Add/Remove Windows Server 2012 GUI

When Server 2012 is compared with Server 2008 one of the superior feature you will find on the Server 2012 is the flexibility to add/remove the operating system GUI. Earlier in Server 2008 if we wish to add the GUI on one of the server core installation you will be disappointed as you will have to reinstall the server all over again.

But in server 2012 Microsoft has removed this limitation and made the server OS more flexible. In server 2012 you can add/remove this feature whenever you wish to have it on you servers. This new feature allows IT admins to gain more control on their server by removing unused GUI components and helps to increase security and efficiency.

Let’s see how to remove the GUI from Server 2012.

1) Open the server manager and then select “Remove roles and features” to proceed.

2) Now select the Features option and navigate to “User Interfaces and infrastructure” feature.

3) Under that you will see two options selected such as a) Graphical management tools and infrastructure b) Server graphical shell

Remove GUI Shell Option

4) In-order to remove complete GUI experience you need to un-check both these options. After the restart you will see the server with a Command prompt loaded on the screen.

 Now let’s see how to restore the GUI on Server core installation.

1) For complete GUI restoration execute the below command.

 

Window startup screen after removing the GUI infra

Window startup screen after removing the GUI infra

Windows startup screen after removing the GUI Shell

Windows startup screen after removing the GUI Shell

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