How to: Windows 2012 switch from GUI to Core and from Core to GUI

When you install Windows 2012 Server, you’ve two options to install. The first one is the Core version, the second one is the graphical version (GUI). In the previous version, Windows Server 2008, it was also possible! There is one mayer difference in Windows 2012 Server. You’ve the possibility to change between the Core edition and graphical interface and back without installing the whole server again!

In a few steps you can transform your fully graphical version of Windows 2012 Server to only a black command line box! 😉 Let’s have a look.

1.) Install a Windows 2012 Server with the GUI version
2.) Open Powershell
3.) Type the following command:
Get-WindowsFeature *gui*. As you can see, there’re two Windows feature.
Graphical Management Tools and Infrastructure (Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra)
Server Graphical Shell (Server-Gui-Shell)
4.) Type the following command to uninstall the GUI:
Get-WindowsFeature *gui* | Remove-WindowsFeature
5.) After restarting the server, you don’t have the GUI anymore
6.) Open Powershell
7.) Type the following command to install the GUI:
Get-WindowsFeature *gui* | Install-WindowsFeature
8.) After restarting the server, the GUI is back again.