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Access to prior product versions – April 2017 update

  • Customers who have licensed software through a Microsoft Volume Licensing program are eligible to use prior versions of the software edition that they have licensed. This is known as a downgrade right. More information is provided in the Downgrade Rights Volume Licensing brief, as well as in the Product Terms.
  • If you have legally obtained physical media (CD/DVD) of older licensed Microsoft products that your organization is currently licensed to use through downgrade rights, you can use these prior software versions at your discretion.
  • In general, the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) provides download access only to the current (N) and the last (N-1) version of products.
  • With the release of new product versions, previously available products are removed from the VLSC as they become N-2 versions.
  • As of December 2012, a limited set of N-2 and N-3 prior product versions remain available for download through the VLSC:

Current Version (N) Prior Version (N-1) Added Prior Version (N-2 and N-3)
Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 Exchange Server 2013
Exchange Server 2010
Exchange Server 2007
Office 2016 Office 2013
Office 2010
Office 2007
SQL Server 2017 SQL Server 2016
SQL Server 2014
SQL Server 2012
Windows 10 Windows 8.1
Windows 8
Windows 7
Windows Server 2016 Windows Server 2012 R2 Windows Server 2012

Note: In the event that Product Keys for the N-2 versions listed above are not available from the VLSC, please contact a Microsoft Product Activation Center.

If your organization continues to require access to specific prior version products, we recommend that you first contact your Microsoft reseller to determine whether they still have media inventory. If you received past shipments of physical Volume Licensing media (comprehensive or subscription kits) or purchased physical CD/DVD media, you can continue to use these discs to install prior versions of products that are no longer available from the VLSC.

Product availability information


Microsoft releases new products and product updates for Volume Licensing customers each month. To find out what new products are available, read the following document:

For Volume Licensing customers, the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) is your key resource to manage your software licenses and access licensed software from Microsoft.
  • Product updates are available as downloads: To download products from the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) site, sign in to the VLSC, and then click Downloads.
Note: To access the VLSC, you must be a registered user on the site and have access to agreement data. If you need assistance accessing the site, visit the Help section to contact the Microsoft Support Center.

Related resources


Product Licensing Search
Locate Volume Licensing product use rights, points by program, special notes, and supporting documents.

Product Terms explained
Review this scenario-based guide to help you understand how Microsoft licensing models apply to common IT solutions.

Product Activation and Keys
Look up activation instructions including which products require a key.