Windows Server 2012 R2 End of Life
3 min

Windows Server 2012 R2: End of Life

3 min

Windows Server 2012 R2 is the seventh version of the Windows Server operating system developed by Microsoft. The software has been around for a long time, which can also be seen from its name. Windows Server 2012 R2 was first made available in 2013 and its support is soon coming to an end. In this article, you can read more about the end of life of Windows Server 2012 R2 and what lies ahead.

When does Windows Server 2012 R2 support end?

The mainstream support offered by Microsoft for Windows Server 2012 R2 ended on 9 October 2018. This means that there will be no more feature-related updates for Windows Server 2012 R2 after this date. After the mainstream support is over, the extended support takes over. The extended support allows the prolonged use of the software and entails security updates. This offers security for the server and any related data. Since the end of the mainstream support, there are no bug fixes or enhancements coming from Microsoft.

End of Life (EoL) for Windows Server 2012 R2?

The end of Microsoft’s support is also known as the product’s ‘’end of life’’. After the end of the extended support by Microsoft, Windows Server 2012 R2 no longer receives any kind of support. Windows Server 2012 R2 was released on 25 November 2013 and has already reached its end of life with the mainstream support ending on the 9th of October 2018 and the extended support ending on the 10th of October 2023. This means that Windows Server 2012 R2 still can be used, but there is no more technical support, bug fixes or updates which increases the risks of using the software.

As already mentioned, Microsoft offers two types of support: mainstream support and extended support. The mainstream support usually lasts about 5 years after the release date and includes bug fixes, new updates, features and overall improvements. After the mainstream support expires, the user can benefit from the extended support. This support lasts additional 5 years, but no longer adds or updates new features. The extended support only includes bug fixes, technical support and security improvements.

Windows Server 2022 banner

Read more about the latest version of Windows Server 2022.

Risks of using Windows Server 2012 R2 after it's End of Life

The end-of-life date applies to all different versions of Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2. For example, the versions: Standard, Datacenter, Essentials and Foundation. However, as mentioned earlier, it is still possible to use the product after the end-of-life date. This could bring many problems, as the server is no longer protected by Microsoft. A few problems that could arise are:

  1. Server patching becomes problematic
  2. Increased risk of cyber attacks
  3. Increased risk of security compliance
  4. No technical support

Which Windows Server versions are still supported?

There are currently three Windows Server versions still supported by Microsoft. Windows Server 2016 was released on the 15th October 2016, but only receives extended support, as the mainstream support already ended on the 11th of January 2022. The extended support for Windows Server 2016 ends on the 12th of January 2027. Until then, Windows Server 2016 will only receive bug fixes, technical support and security enhancements.

Windows Server 2019 was released on the 13th November 2018 and is also currently only receiving extended support. The mainstream support ended quite recently, on the 9th January 2024. This means that the extended support has just started and will end in 5 years on 9 January 2029.

The latest released version of Windows Server is Windows Server 2022. Windows Server 2022 was released on the 18th of August 2021, and unlike the versions mentioned above, Windows Server 2022 still uses mainstream support. The mainstream support ends on the 13th of October 2026, so new updates, features and enhancements will still be added until then. Microsoft’s extended support for Windows Server ends on the 14th of October 2031.

Finally, Microsoft has announced a new perpetual Windows Server on the official forum. There had been some rumours about Windows Server 2025 for a while, but early this year, Jeff Woolsey, the Principal PM Manager, officially revealed that Microsoft is working on Windows Server 2025. He also disclosed what they are currently working on. Want to find out more about Windows Server 2025?

Read more about what we know so far about Windows Server 2025.

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