To Decommission RMS

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

To perform this procedure, you must be logged on locally to the administration Web site with a domain user account that is a member of the Administrators group. As a security best practice, consider using Run as to perform this procedure.


When you decommission a server, it cannot be restored to a standard RMS configuration. This procedure is irreversible. Once decommissioning is complete, RMS must be completely removed by using Add or Remove Programs before attempting to install another instance of RMS.

Decommissioning RMS

To Decommission RMS

  1. Log on to the server as a member of the Administrators group on which you want to decommission RMS.

  2. To open the Global Administration page, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Windows RMS, and then click Windows RMS Administration.

  3. Click the Administer RMS on this Web site link.

  4. On the Administration Home page, click the Security settings link.

  5. In the Decommissioning RMS area, select the Enable decommissioning of the RMS installation check box, and then click Decommission.

  6. When prompted, click OK to confirm that you want to permanently decommission the RMS installation.

  7. Grant the RMS Service GroupRead and Execute permissions and Everyone Read permissions to the DACL of the decommissioning.asmx file.

Here are some things to do once the decommissioning process is configured and running:

  • Inform your users that you are decommissioning the RMS installation and advise them to connect to the server to save their content without RMS protection.

  • Configure all RMS-enabled applications in your enterprise to connect to the decommissioning.asmx page. Depending on the RMS-enabled application, this may be controlled by a registry key or Group Policy setting.

  • If your organization is using RMS-enabled applications that automatically use the installation for publishing, you should use Group Policy to set a registry entry on those computers to have those applications use the decommissioning service.

After you believe that all of the content is unprotected, you should back up the server’s private key, and then uninstall RMS from the server.