Install SQL Server Servicing Updates
This article provides information about installing updates for SQL Server. This section provides information about the following:
Installing updates for SQL Server during a new installation
Installing updates for SQL Server after it has already been installed.
Install the latest SQL Server updates in a timely manner to make sure that systems are up-to-date with the most recent security updates.
Installing Updates for SQL Server During a New Installation
SQL Server setup integrates the latest product updates with the main product installation so that the main product and its applicable updates are installed at the same time. Product Update can search for the applicable updates from:
Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)
A local folder
A network share
After Setup finds the latest versions of the applicable updates, it downloads and integrates them with the current SQL Server setup process. Product Update can include a cumulative update, service pack, or service pack plus cumulative update.
Installing Updates for SQL Server after it has already been installed
On an installed instance of SQL Server, we recommend that you apply the latest security updates and critical updates including general distribution releases (GDRs), service packs (SPs), and cumulative updates (CUs). For additional information, see the March, 2016 announcement on the SQL Server Incremental Servicing Model (ISM).
Starting with SQL Server 2017 (14.x) we are adopting a simplified, predictable mainstream servicing lifecycle and service packs (SPs) will no longer be available. Only cumulative updates (CUs), and general distribution releases (GDRs) when needed. For additional information, see the September, 2017 announcement on the Modern Servicing Model for SQL Server (MSM).
The SQL Server updates are available through Microsoft Update (MU), Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and the Microsoft Download Center. Security and Critical updates for SQL Server are available through Microsoft Update, and to be able to see these updates you need to opt-into MU through the Windows Update applet in Control panel.
When you receive an update through Microsoft Update, it will update all SQL Server features to the latest version in an unattended mode. If you need more flexibility or don't have internet or WSUS access, you must obtain the updates from the Microsoft Download Center.