Start, Stop, or Pause the SQL Server Agent Service

APPLIES TO: yesSQL Server yesAzure SQL Database (Managed Instance only) noAzure SQL Data Warehouse noParallel Data Warehouse


On Azure SQL Database Managed Instance, most, but not all SQL Server Agent features are currently supported. See Azure SQL Database Managed Instance T-SQL differences from SQL Server for details.

This topic describes how to start, stop, or restart the SQL Server Agent Service in SQL Server 2017 by using SQL Server Management Studio.

You can configure the SQL Server Agent service to start automatically when the operating system starts, or you can start it manually when you need to complete jobs. You can stop or pause the SQL Server Agent service to suspend jobs, operator notifications, and alerts.

In This Topic

Before You Begin

Limitations and Restrictions

  • Microsoft SQL Server Agent must be running as a service in order to automate administrative tasks. For more information, see Configure SQL Server Agent.

  • Object Explorer only displays the SQL Server Agent node if you have permission to use it.



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 Select an Account for the SQL Server Agent Service and Setting Up Windows Service Accounts.

Using SQL Server Management Studio

To start, stop, or restart the SQL Server Agent Service

  1. In Object Explorer, click the plus sign to expand the server where you want to manage SQL Server Agent Service.

  2. Right-click SQL Server Agent, and then select either Start, Stop, or Restart.

  3. In the User Account Control dialog box, click Yes.

  4. When prompted if you want to perform the action, click Yes.

For more information, see: