SQL Server Configuration Manager

Applies to: yesSQL Server (all supported versions)

SQL Server Configuration Manager is a tool to manage the services associated with SQL Server, to configure the network protocols used by SQL Server, and to manage the network connectivity configuration from SQL Server client computers. SQL Server Configuration Manager is installed with your SQL Server installation. SQL Server Configuration Manager is a Microsoft Management Console snap-in that is available from the Start menu, or can be added to any other Microsoft Management Console display. Microsoft Management Console (mmc.exe) uses the SQLServerManager<version>.msc file (such as SQLServerManager13.msc for SQL Server 2016 (13.x)) to open Configuration Manager. You will need the corresponding SQL Server Configuration Manager version to manage that particular version of SQL Server. Here are the paths to the last five versions when Windows is installed on the C drive.

Version Path
SQL Server 2019 C:\Windows\SysWOW64\SQLServerManager15.msc
SQL Server 2017 C:\Windows\SysWOW64\SQLServerManager14.msc
SQL Server 2016 C:\Windows\SysWOW64\SQLServerManager13.msc
SQL Server 2014 (12.x) C:\Windows\SysWOW64\SQLServerManager12.msc
SQL Server 2012 (11.x) C:\Windows\SysWOW64\SQLServerManager11.msc


Because SQL Server Configuration Manager is a snap-in for the Microsoft Management Console program and not a stand-alone program, SQL Server Configuration Manager does not appear as an application in newer versions of Windows.

  • Windows 10:
    To open SQL Server Configuration Manager, on the Start Page, type SQLServerManager13.msc (for SQL Server 2016 (13.x)). For other versions of SQL Server, replace 13 with the corresponding number. Clicking SQLServerManager13.msc opens the Configuration Manager. To pin the Configuration Manager to the Start Page or Task Bar, right-click SQLServerManager13.msc, and then click Open file location. In the Windows File Explorer, right-click SQLServerManager13.msc, and then click Pin to Start or Pin to taskbar.
  • Windows 8:
    To open SQL Server Configuration Manager, in the Search charm, under Apps, type SQLServerManager<version>.msc such as SQLServerManager13.msc, and then press Enter.

SQL Server Configuration Manager and SQL Server Management Studio use Window Management Instrumentation (WMI) to view and change some server settings. WMI provides a unified way for interfacing with the API calls that manage the registry operations requested by the SQL Server tools and to provide enhanced control and manipulation over the selected SQL services of the SQL Server Configuration Manager snap-in component. For information about configuring permissions related to WMI, see Configure WMI to Show Server Status in SQL Server Tools.

To start, stop, pause, resume, or configure services on another computer by using SQL Server Configuration Manager, see Connect to Another Computer (SQL Server Configuration Manager).

Managing Services

Use SQL Server Configuration Manager to start, pause, resume, or stop the services, to view service properties, or to change service properties.

Use SQL Server Configuration Manager to start the Database Engine using startup parameters. For more information, see Configure Server Startup Options (SQL Server Configuration Manager).

Changing the Accounts Used by the Services

Manage the SQL Server services using SQL Server Configuration Manager.


Always use SQL Server tools such as SQL Server Configuration Manager to change the account used by the SQL Server or SQL Server Agent services, or to change the password for the account. In addition to changing the account name, SQL Server Configuration Manager performs additional configuration such as setting permissions in the Windows Registry so that the new account can read the SQL Server settings. Other tools such as the Windows Services Control Manager can change the account name but do not change associated settings. If the service cannot access the SQL Server portion of the registry the service may not start properly.

As an additional benefit, passwords changed using SQL Server Configuration Manager, SMO, or WMI take affect immediately without restarting the service.

Manage Server & Client Network Protocols

SQL Server Configuration Manager allows you to configure server and client network protocols, and connectivity options. After the correct protocols are enabled, you usually do not need to change the server network connections. However, you can use SQL Server Configuration Manager if you need to reconfigure the server connections so SQL Server listens on a particular network protocol, port, or pipe. For more information about enabling protocols, see Enable or Disable a Server Network Protocol. For information about enabling access to protocols through a firewall, see Configure the Windows Firewall to Allow SQL Server Access.

SQL Server Configuration Manager allows you to manage server and client network protocols, including the ability to force protocol encryption, view alias properties, or enable/disable a protocol.

SQL Server Configuration Manager allows you to create or remove an alias, change the order in which protocols are used, or view properties for a server alias, including:

  • Server Alias - The server alias used for the computer to which the client is connecting.

  • Protocol - The network protocol used for the configuration entry.

  • Connection Parameters - The parameters associated with the connection address for the network protocol configuration.

The SQL Server Configuration Manager also allows you to view information about failover cluster instances, though Cluster Administrator should be used for some actions such as starting and stopping the services.

Available Network Protocols

SQL Server supports Shared Memory, TCP/IP, and Named Pipes protocols. For information about choosing a network protocols, see Configure Client Protocols. SQL Server does not support VIA, Banyan VINES Sequenced Packet Protocol (SPP), Multiprotocol, AppleTalk, or NWLink IPX/SPX network protocols. Clients previously connecting with these protocols must select a different protocol to connect to SQL Server. You cannot use SQL Server Configuration Manager to configure the WinSock proxy. To configure the WinSock proxy, see your ISA Server documentation.

Managing Services How-to Topics (SQL Server Configuration Manager)

Start, Stop, Pause, Resume, Restart the Database Engine, SQL Server Agent, or SQL Server Browser Service

Start, Stop, or Pause the SQL Server Agent Service

Set an Instance of SQL Server to Start Automatically (SQL Server Configuration Manager)

Prevent Automatic Startup of an Instance of SQL Server (SQL Server Configuration Manager)