Windows Server 2012 – Add and Remove GUI

Windows Server 8

Microsoft worked hard on the management of the new Windows Server 2012. In Windows Server 2008 R2 you had to choose during the Installation if the Server is a Windows Server Full Installation (with GUI) or a Windows Server Core Installation (without GUI). In Windows Server 2012 you can add and remove the GUI from the server.

Add GUI on a Core Server

On a Core Server you can add the with the following PowerShell command

Add-WindowsFeature Server-GUI-Shell

add-windowsfeature server-gui-shell

After the Installation you have to restart the server

 Restart-Computer

AddGUIPowershell

Remove GUI on a Server

There are two ways you could do that, first via Server Manager remote the GUI feature:

RemoveGUI

Or via Windows PowerShell

 Remove-WindowsFeature Server-GUI-Shell

Remove GUI with Powershell

It is also important that you understand that Windows Server 2012 has three different GUI options.

  • Core
  • GUI
  • GUI with Management Tools

So if you activate the GUI you do not get all of the Management tools automatically. You have also to activate the “Management tools GUI”.