How to Recover Lost SQL SA Password of SQL Server 2017/16/14/12

Written By Kumar Raj
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh  
Published On March 28th, 2024
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading

retrieve sql server password

Read this article if you, unfortunately, forgot / lost SQL Server login account password (SA & User), or need to reset it. There are several scenarios where users Forgot MS SQL Server password or get locked out of SQL Server database. Moreover, they want to know how to connect to SQL Server when System Administrators are locked out. Let’s understand how to recover lost SQL SA password eaisly.

No worries, in this article we will describe the popular and efficient methods for you to retrieve SQL Server password if users forgot SQL Server password anyhow. But, before that, you have to know which password you forgot. Because you can use User or System Administrative login to connect with SQL Server Management Studio. After you figure it out, follow the article below that lets you know how to recover SQL password in SQL Server 2017 / 2016 / 2014 / 2012 / 2008 / 2008 R2 / 2005.

Recover SQL Password in 5 Quick Steps

  • Download Tool and Set-up on your system.
  • Now Upload the MDF files from the computer.
  • Select Account you forgot SQL password for.
  • Click the Reset Password button at the bottom.
  • Hit the Ok button to recover SQL password quickly.

All Methods to Recover Lost SA Password of SQL Account

In the following section, we will tell you how to proceed when you lost the SQL Server ‘SA’ or ‘User’ password. So, let’s get started and learn about each and every method or ways in a detailed manner.

  1. Reset User Login Password Without SSMS
  2. Utilize SQLCMD to Reset the SA Password
  3. Find SQL Server Password Via. Management Studio

Approach #1: Automated Tool to Fix Forgot SQL Server Password

No matter how complex or lengthy password you forgot or lost, the SQL Server SA Password Recovery can recover it easily. It can effortlessly reset User as well as SA login account password on your Windows machine without the help of Management studio. Also, it is 100 % safe for learning how to find SQL Server password forgot earlier.

It only requires the ‘master.mdf’ for the reset process. The MDF files are secured with highly encrypted passwords that cannot be easily decrypted. Due to this, software generates the alternate password instead of an actual one. With this new password, one can easily login to SSMS either from User or SA account. The free version of tool is also available which can be easily downloaded from this given link.

Above all, to retrieve SQL Server password the automated solution is very beneficial. It is a helpful utility for both the administrator and User associated with a firm where a single SQL database is provided to every individual and every user is assigned with a password. So, whenever they forgot or lost the credentials, they can easily reset with this utility. To use this software, there is no need for an administrative right. One can only need ‘master.mdf’ file and easily unlock lost password of SQL Server 2017 / 2016 / 2014 / 2012 / 2008 / 2008 R2 / 2005 / 2000.

How to Recover SQL Server Login Password Step by Step If Forgot SQL Password Totally?

Step-1. Set up the software on your system and open it.

sql password recovery

Step-2. Upload the ‘master.mdf’ file by clicking on Browse button.

open master mdf file

Step-3. After scanning, all the Login account names appear on the screen.

sql password recovery

Step-4. Choose the account – User or SA whose password you want to recover by selecting its corresponding box. Then, click on Reset Password button.

sql password

Step-5. Afterward, set a new password under the Password Settings window to complete learning how to find SQL Server password operation.


Approach #2: How to Reset SA Password in SQL Server using CMD

There’s a manual way with which you can recover the password. For this, your Windows account should be a member of local administrator group. Else one cannot use the CMD method. Let’s see how to recover SQL account password via. command-line procedure.

Step-1. Open cmd as an administrator and run the following command:-

Osql -S SQL_Instance_Name -E

sql password recovery

Step-2. Once the above command done, run this cmdlet in command prompt.

EXEC sp_password NULL, ‘New_Password’, ‘Login_Name’



Approach #3: How to Reset SQL Server Password Using SQL Server Management Studio

This is the SSMS method for users if forgot SQL password entirely. To use this method, you should have SQL Server administrative power. Afterward, one can use this method to unlock the database account.

Step-1. Launch the SQL Server Management Studio and Connect with it to retrieve SQL Server password.


Step-2. Go to Object Explorer and expand the Security option first. Afterward, expand the Logins.


Step-3. Select the account whose password you want to change and perform right-click on it. Select Properties from the menu.


Step-4. Under the Login Properties window, change the password and confirm it. Then, click on OK to finish learning how to find SQL Server password task.

The Final Say

There are lots of options to explore after you realize that you have no longer access to the database because you lost the SQL Server password. In the article above, we learned about how to reset lost SA & User database password and unlock the account. Also, as per experts, we should use the SQL password recovery tool & now we know why.

Here, we focus on how to recover SQL password after User or SA forgot or lost it. Depending upon in which condition you are standing, you could pick any of the above method to fix forgot SQL Server password mess. However, the automated one is better to retrieve SQL Server password with ease.


By Kumar Raj

Kumar Raj has more than 14 plus years of expertise in migration technology. He likes to create, edit, and optimize web material on topics conversion of email data, and migration of email data. For the majority of the past ten years, he has been a devoted fan of the technology scene.