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Remove a server from a farm in SharePoint 2013

 

Applies to: SharePoint Server 2013, SharePoint Foundation 2013

Topic Last Modified: 2013-12-18

Summary:Learn how to remove a web server, application server, or database server from a SharePoint 2013 farm.

There are three types of servers in a server farm running SharePoint 2013: web servers, application servers, and database servers. The method that you use to remove a server from a SharePoint farm varies depending on the type of server that you are removing from the farm.

In this article:

NoteNote:
Because SharePoint 2013 runs as websites in Internet Information Services (IIS), administrators and users depend on the accessibility features that browsers provide. SharePoint 2013 supports the accessibility features of supported browsers. For more information, see the following resources:

For information about uninstallation procedures that SharePoint 2013 supports, see Uninstall SharePoint 2013.

Removing a server that contains a search topology component can affect future search activities. The extent of that effect depends on the farm search topology. We recommend that you remove or relocate any search topology components from a server before removing the server from the farm.

If you remove a server that hosts a crawl component, no index files are lost. However, you might reduce or remove the capacity to crawl content.

You can lose index files in the following situations:

  • The farm has only one query component, and you remove the server that hosts the query component.

  • You have configured the index to be partitioned and you delete the last query component in one of the partitions. In this case, you will lose a portion of the index.

In either of these cases, a full crawl will have to be performed to re-create the index files.

You can deploy specific techniques to build fault tolerance into the search topology. If these techniques are followed, the deliberate or unplanned removal of a server from the topology can be absorbed without losing data and without affecting the ability to crawl or serve queries. (However, performance can still be affected.) For more information, see Technical diagrams for SharePoint 2013.

Make sure that the server that you want to remove is not running any important site components. If important services or components (such as a custom Web Part) are running on the server and are not available on another server in the farm, removing the server can damage sites in the farm. For example, if the server that you want to remove is the only application server in the farm that is running the Business Data Connectivity service, removing the server can make any sites that rely on that service stop working correctly.

You can remove a web server or an application server from the server farm by uninstalling SharePoint 2013 from the server through Control Panel. When you uninstall SharePoint 2013 by using Control Panel, you remove the program files and other information from the server.

To remove a web server or an application server from a farm by using Control Panel
  1. Verify that the user account that completes this procedure has the following credentials:

    • The user account that performs this procedure is a member of the Administrators group on the server.

  2. Stop the services that are running on the server. For information about how to determine which services are running on a specific server and stopping services, see Start or stop a service (SharePoint 2013).

  3. On the server that you want to remove from the farm, click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Programs and Features.

  4. In the list of currently installed programs, click SharePoint 2013, and then click Uninstall.

  5. Click Continue at the confirmation prompt to uninstall the program.

To remove a database server from a farm without uninstalling SharePoint and therefore deleting the data that was stored in the database, you must first move any databases that are hosted by that server to another database server in the farm and then use Central Administration to remove the database server from the farm.

You cannot remove a database server if it is the only database server available in the farm, or if it is the database server that hosts the configuration database.

CautionCaution:
If you uninstall SharePoint 2013 from the server that is running Central Administration, you will be unable to administer the server farm until you configure another server in the farm to host the Central Administration site.

If a web server or application server is no longer available, or if uninstalling SharePoint 2013 from Control Panel is not possible, you can remove the web server or application server from the farm by using the SharePoint Central Administration website. Removing a server from the farm by using Central Administration does not uninstall SharePoint 2013 from the server, nor does it make any sites on that server inaccessible. We recommend that you use the process described in Remove a web server or an application server from a farm by using Control Panel to uninstall SharePoint 2013 instead of using Central Administration to remove the server.

Removing the server from the farm by using Central Administration does not delete this information from the server. Use the Central Administration procedure for removing database servers only, or for removing a web server or an application server from the farm when the server is no longer available to uninstall through Control Panel.

You can follow these steps to remove a web server, application server, or database server from the farm. However, we recommend that you remove web servers and application servers from a farm by using Control Panel, instead of by using Central Administration. For information, see To remove a web server or an application server from a farm by using Control Panel.

Before you remove a database server from a farm, make sure that you have moved any databases stored on that server to a different database server in your farm.

To remove a database server, web server, or application server from a SharePoint farm by using Central Administration
  1. Verify that the user account that completes this procedure has the following credentials:

    • The user account that performs this procedure is a member of the Farm Administrators SharePoint group.

    • The user account that performs this procedure is a member of the Administrators group on the server.

  2. Stop the services that are running on the server. For information about how to determine which services are running on a specific server and stopping services, see Start or stop a service (SharePoint 2013).

  3. On the SharePoint Central Administration website, in the System Settings section, click Manage servers in this farm.

  4. On the Servers in Farm page, locate the row that contains the name of the server that you want to remove, and then click Remove Server.

  5. In the warning that appears, click OK to remove the server or click Cancel to stop the operation.

    The page updates, and the server that you removed no longer appears in the list of servers.

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