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3 Methods to Change SQL Server Password

"I forgot my sql server password, and i need to get the sql sa password back, how can i retrieve my sql sa password? its SQL server 2005. Any advice is ok, I don't want to reinstall the SQL server, Thanks in advance."

There are many more similar situations that people forgot the SA password shortly after installing the MS SQL Server. This article shows you 3 methods to help you change forgotten SA password for your SQL Server 2000/2005/2008 database installation.

Option 1: Change SQL Server Password in Management Studio

If you've forgotten the sa password for your SQL server, you are probably in a panic. Fear not, for you can change the password and once again have access to the powers of the SA account using Windows Authentication mode.

  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

  3. Change SA password, and confirm it. Click OK.

    Change SQL Server Password

Option 2: Change SQL Server Password Using SQL Script

  1. Open the SQL Server Management Studio.
  2. Open a New Query.
  3. Copy, paste, and execute the following:

    GO
    ALTER LOGIN [sa] WITH DEFAULT_DATABASE=[master]
    GO
    USE [master]
    GO
    ALTER LOGIN [sa] WITH PASSWORD=N'NewPassword' MUST_CHANGE
    GO

    where NewPassword is the password you wish to use for the sa account.

Option 3: Change SQL Server Password with Third Party Software

  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\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Data.

    Select the SQL Server master database file

  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 old password will be replaced with your new password. Now you are able to log into the SA account using your new password.


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