Server Configuration Options (SQL Server)

Applies to: yesSQL Server (all supported versions)

You can manage and optimize SQL Server resources through configuration options by using SQL Server Management Studio or the sp_configure system stored procedure. The most commonly used server configuration options are available through SQL Server Management Studio; all configuration options are accessible through sp_configure. Consider the effects on your system carefully before setting these options. For more information, see View or Change Server Properties (SQL Server).

IMPORTANT!! Advanced options should be changed only by an experienced database administrator or certified SQL Server technician.

Categories of Configuration Options

Configuration options take effect either:

  • Immediately after setting the option and issuing the RECONFIGURE (or in some cases, RECONFIGURE WITH OVERRIDE) statement. Reconfiguring certain options will invalidate plans in the plan cache, causing new plans to be compiled. For more information, see DBCC FREEPROCCACHE (Transact-SQL).


  • After performing the above actions and restarting the instance of SQL Server.

Options that require SQL Server to restart will initially show the changed value only in the value column. After restart, the new value will appear in both the value column and the value_in_use column.

Some options require a server restart before the new configuration value takes effect. If you set the new value and run sp_configure before restarting the server, the new value appears in the configuration options value column, but not in the value_in_use column. After restarting the server, the new value appears in the value_in_use column.

Self-configuring options are those that SQL Server adjusts according to the needs of the system. In most cases, this eliminates the need for setting the values manually. Examples include the max worker threads option and the user connections option.

Configuration Options Table

The following table lists all available configuration options, the range of possible settings, and default values. Configuration options are marked with letter codes as follows:

See also

sp_configure (Transact-SQL)