Exchange 2013 Management tools on Windows 8.1

Trying to install Exchange 2013 Management tools on Windows 8.1 is likely to present some problems by default. Unless you’ve already installed the IIS components required by Exchange you’ll get an extremely unhelpful error message when trying to install, saying that it cannot be installed on a client-based OS.


The exact error message is:

Error message
The target of the specified cmdlet cannot be a Windows client-based operating system.

Which doesn’t tell you anything about the actual issue that’s preventing installation; which is that this is an insanely picky install. It’d make sense if we were installing Exchange, proper, for it to be picky, but this is just the management tools.

So, to get around it, install the required IIS management tools by going to Start > Turn Windows features on or off > Internet Information ServicesWeb Management ToolsIIS 6 Management Compatibility and install IIS 6 Management Console and IIS Metabase and IIS 6 configuration compatibility.

Once that’s complete, install the management tools from an admin shell. CD into the Exchange setup dir and do the following in an admin prompt:

Setup.exe /Role:ManagementTools /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

After that, everything should be fine and the tools will be available.