Configuring SQL Server Agent

You can specify some configuration options for SQL Server Agent during installation of SQL Server. The full set of SQL Server Agent configuration options is only available within SQL Server Management Studio, SQL Server Management Objects (SMO), or the SQL Server Agent stored procedures.


Click SQL Server Agent in Object Explorer of SQL Server Management Studio to administer jobs, operators, alerts, and the SQL Server Agent service. However, Object Explorer only displays the SQL Server Agent node if you have permission to use it.


Auto-restart should not be enabled for the SQL Server service or the SQL Server Agent service on failover cluster instances.

SQL Server Agent stores most configuration information in tables located in the msdb database. SQL Server Agent uses SQL Server credential objects to store the authentication information for proxies.

Setting Required Permissions

To perform its functions, SQL Server Agent must be configured to use the credentials of an account that is a member of the sysadmin fixed server role in SQL Server. The account must have the following Windows permissions:

  • Log on as a service (SeServiceLogonRight)

  • Replace a process-level token (SeAssignPrimaryTokenPrivilege)

  • Bypass traverse checking (SeChangeNotifyPrivilege)

  • Adjust memory quotas for a process (SeIncreaseQuotaPrivilege)

For more information about the Windows permissions required for the SQL Server Agent service account, see Selecting an Account for the SQL Server Agent Service, Service Account Types Supported for SQL Server Agent, and Setting Up Windows Service Accounts.

To verify that each of these required Windows permissions is set

  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, Administrative Tools, and Local Security Policy.

  2. Expand the Local Policies folder, and then click the User Rights Assignment folder.

  3. Repeat the following steps for each permission:

    1. Right-click a permission (such as Log on as a service), and then click Properties.

    2. In the properties dialog box (for example Log on as a service Properties), verify that the account under which SQL Server Agent runs is listed.

    3. If it is not listed, click Add User or Group, enter the account under which SQL Server Agent runs, and then click OK.

Typically, the account selected for the SQL Server Agent is a domain account created for that purpose and has tightly controlled access permissions. It is not necessary to use a domain account, but if you use an account on the local computer, SQL Server Agent will not have permission to access resources on other computers. It is common for SQL Server to need permission on other computers, for instance when it creates a database backup and stores the file in a location on another computer.