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SQL Server: SA Account Locked Out

By | May 8, 2014

Forgot SQL Server login password? SA account is locked out or disabled? In this article I’ll show you 2 methods to unlock SA account in SQL Server. Quickly regain admin access to your SQL Server instance if you’ve forgotten SA password or SA account got locked out or disabled.

Option 1: Unlock SA Account in Management Studio

If the mixed mode authentication is enabled in SQL Server, you can log into SQL Server Management Studio with Windows Authentication, and then unlock any SQL Server user account easily.

  1. Login into SQL Server using Windows Authentication.
  2. In Object Explorer, open Security folder, open Logins folder. Right click on SA account and go to Properties.

    SQL Server Management Studio

  3. In the Login Properties window, uncheck the box beside Login is locked out and click OK.

    Unlock SQL Server SA Account

Option 2: Unlock SA Account with SQL Server Password Changer

SQL Server Password Changer is a powerful recovery utility that can reset lost SQL Server password and unlock any locked-out or disabled user account. You do need to stop your SQL Server instance before following these steps to unlock SA account:

  1. Download SQL Server Password Changer on your local PC, install and launch it.
  2. Click the Open File button. Select the SQL Server master database file (master.mdf). Typically it is located in the folder: C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10\MSSQL\DATA.
  3. The program will automatically decrypt the master database file and display all user accounts in your SQL Server. Select the SA account, click the Change Password button. Type a new password and click OK.

    SQL Server Password Recovery

  4. The program will reset your SQL Server password, and also unlock your SA account if it’s already locked out or disabled.
  5. Start your SQL Server instance and you can then connect to SQL Server using the SA login.

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