How do you uninstall the BarTender SQL Server instance? Follow


BarTender Content Team

This articles applies to BarTender 2019 R5 and later.
While SQL is automatically installed in BarTender 2019 R1-R4, it cannot be removed. Please see Is SQL Server required for BarTender 2019 and later?


You need to remove the SQL instance for troubleshooting or no longer need it. How do you uninstall that instance without disturbing other instances or causing SQL to get stuck?


It is very important that you follow these steps exactly and do not skip any steps. Skipping steps risks getting the SQL instance stuck on the system (requiring removal via registry keys) and causing BarTender to crash unexpectedly.



Note: this process will completely remove the instance, including the system database.

It is recommended to make a full backup of the database using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) if they wish to restore the database later. The Admin Console only does partial backups and you will not be able to restore from them after creating a new database.


Removing BarTender and SQL

  1. Uninstall BarTender and deactivate it using the Control Panel.
  2. Restart the system.
  3. Locate Microsoft SQL Server 2014 (64-bit) or (32-bit) on the Programs and Features list.
    1. If you installed their own SQL version or the SQL instance is originally from a different version than BarTender 2019, the year listed here may be different.
  4. Select it and click "Uninstall/Change"
  5. Click "Remove" in the dialog that pops up.
  6. If the Global Rules say to restart, restart the system and go back to Step 3.
  7. Select BARTENDER from the dropdown list as we do not want to remove any instances
  8. For Select Features, check all the boxes under BARTENDER. If there are no other instances on the system, you are safe to remove the shared features as well.
    Note: you may see more than one checkbox beneath BARTENDER. All need to be checked.
  9. The wizard will ensure that there are no issues with what you've selected. If it says "Ready to Remove", click [Remove]
  10. Once the SQL instance you receive the confirmation screen, restart the system


Clean up

SQL litters with its backup files and processes. If you do not clean up the litter and install a new BARTENDER instance, it may possibly pick up the old information and dirty your new install.

By default, the SQL installation folders will be located here:

  • 64-bit: C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server
  • 32-bit: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server

Delete the folder labeled MSSQL##.BARTENDER. If the BarTender installer installed SQL, the folder will likely be labeled MSSQL12.BARTENDER as SQL 2014 is SQL v12.


Reinstalling BarTender

You can now reinstall BarTender normally. If you are installing BarTender without SQL, please follow the instructions here.

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