Ultimate Solutions to Resolve MS SQL Server Error 2

Written By Andrew Jackson
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On March 4th, 2024
Reading Time 7 Minutes Reading

SQL error 2

Have you ever wonder that you are in a hurry and has to make changes in SQL database but, you end up with Microsoft SQL Server Error 2 in your system? Well, you are not the only one who’s suffering from this issue as plenty of users are facing a similar problem.

Certainly, It is not less than a nightmare.

The similar condition happens when users try to use SQL Server with the help of Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio and get the following error –

A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that the SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provided: Named Pipes Provider, error: 40- Could not open a connection to the SQL Server) (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 2).

It is a disturbing scenario where the user needs to connect with database and get the SQL Server Management error. Without resolving this technical glitch, you cannot use the database in SSMS. Thus considering the users’ situation, we come up with this article. Here, we will describe some workarounds that let you know how to solve Microsoft SQL Server Error 2 step-by-step. Along with this, we will also illustrate the reason behind this SSMS error.

So, let’s get started!!

MS SQL Server Error 2- Could Not Open Connection

This MS SQL Server error 2 generally occurs while establishing a connection to SQL Server database. It is a network-related error or we can say instance-specific issue. It also occurs in case the system is unable to find the server or makes the error inaccessible. In a nutshell, MS SQL Server error 2 – could not open connection creates a barrier in establishing a connection. Here, users need to cross-check if remote connections are allowed & the instance name is correct.

Microsoft SQL Server Error 2 Could Not Open Connection : Potential Reasons

In the subsequent section, all the factors that are responsible for SSMS Error i.e., To fix cannot connect to SQL Server Management Studio error is not a new thing. A little research & the below solution can help users get the desired solution. A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server discussed below.

  1. It might be possible that SQL Server Services are disabled that created an issue while connecting to SQL Server Management Studio.
  2. Check whether you are using right SQL Server instance name at the time of connection.
  3. SQL Administrator does not provide permission to Allow remote connection.
  4. It is also possible that SQL Server Management Studio using the incorrect port number. That is why user will get the MS SQL Server Error 2.
  5. The SQL Server Browser service is not enabled under the SQL Server Configuration Manager.
  6. It also happens, the port on which SQL Server is running, is blocked by system firewall.
  7. The Named Pipes protocol is disabled in SQL Server Configuration Manager. Originally, the Named Pipes is a type of protocol developed for Local Area Networks in order to communicate between two processes.

After understanding the factors behind this error, let’s go through the techniques to fix the SQL Server Error 2 of SSMS.

Microsoft SQL Server Error 2 Solutions – 100% Working

It is important to analyze the correct reason behind the cannot connect to SQL Server error. After knowing the reason, execute the workaround according to it. Let’s begin to fix SQL server cannot connect to server issue.

Method #1: Enable the SQL Server Services

Step-1. Initially, press the Windows key along with R key in order to open the Run box.

Step-2. Input the ‘compmgmt.msc’ under the Open box as shown in the screenshot. Then, click on OK to execute it.

Step-3. From Computer Management window, click on Services and Applications >> SQL Server Configuration.

Step-4. Afterward, opt for SQL Server Services from the preview pane.

Step-5. Once you select the option, the 6 different services of SQL Server available on the screen along with its State.

Step-6. At last, you need to start the services.

Method #2: Enable TCP/IP Network Protocol for SQL Server 2014 / 2016 / 2017

Step 1. From Computer Management window, click on Services and Applications >> SQL Server Configuration Manager >> SQL Native Client 11.0 Configuration (32 bit).

Step 2. Under SQL Native Client 11.0 Configuration (32 bit) option, opt for Client Protocols option. By doing this, you will see the three protocols – Shared Memory, TCP/IP, Named Pipes. If anyone is disabled make them enabled. For this, right-click on any protocol and click on Enable.

Step 3. Try to connect with SQL Server via SQL Server Management Studio and see whether the Microsoft SQL Server Error 2 gets resolved or not.

Method #3: Provide Permission to Allow Remote Connections

Step: 1. Open Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio. Here, we are using SSMS 2014 on Windows 10 OS.

Step: 2. Go to the Server Name under the Object Explorer. Afterward, right-click on it and opt for Properties.

Step: 3. Under Server Properties window, go to the Connections section and check the box corresponding to Allow remote connections to this server. Then, hit the OK button to resolve SSMS error 2.

Automated Tool for Rescue

If for any reason – users face the Microsoft SQL Server Error 2 Cannot Connect to Local in SSMS then, try the above-mentioned workarounds. Although, many times SQL Server error arises due to corruption in MDF file. In such a situation, try the SysTools SQL Database Recovery Software. Hence, it is a complete guide that let users know how to fix MS SQL Error 2 on the Windows platform.

Download Now Purchase Now

Fix Cannot Connect to Localhost SQL Server Error 2 Step by Step

  1. Launch tool to fix the MSSQL error 2 occurring due to corrupted data.

    launch tool
  2. Click the Open button to Add SQL Server MDF Files with corruption.

    click open
  3. Browse & Add the MDF Files from local computer to the application.

    select MDF
  4. Select the Scan modes as a Quick Scan or Advance Scan mode.

    select scan mode
  5. Preview the Database objects in the localhost server databases.

    preview data objects
  6. Now, Select the Destination platform along with the path & data.

    select destination
  7. Click Export to fix cannot connect to localhost SQL Server error.
    export to fix cannot connect to localhost SQL Server error 2

The Final Say

Now, we are well aware of the right tool & technique along with all the crucial aspects here. Users need to understand that not all solutions are worth investing time & effort. Therefore, analyzing all the advantages & drawbacks of these solutions can help users make a wise decision for solving MS SQL Server Error 2 – Could not open connection.

FAQs for SQL Cannot Connect to Server Error

Q-1. How do I allow SQL Server to allow remote connections ?

Ans: To enable remote location, do this.
1. Connect to SQL Server Management Studio.
2. Right-click your server’s name and opt Properties.
3. check the box adjacent to Allow remote connections to this server and click OK.

Q-2. Why am I getting a network related or instance specific error in SQL Server 2017 ?

Ans: Check whether all your SQL Server services are enable or not.

Q-3. How do I fix Microsoft SQL Server error 2 named pipes provider error 40 ?

Ans: You should enable your SQL Server services and TCP/IP network protocol. Still, it is not fixed, allow the remote location.

Q-4. Is this automated software free for this solution?

Ans: No, the advanced automated software is not free but yes it offers a free demo version for users. This way, users can test it out & understand how it works with ease.

Q-5. Can this error occur in all SQL versions?

Ans: Yes, the error can arise in all the SQL Server versions & the solution is already mentioned above. However, it is more likely to araise in the old versions. Still, it does not mean that it can’t arise in the new versions.


By Andrew Jackson

I am SQL DBA and SQL Server blogger too. I like to share about SQL Server and the problems related to it as well as their solution and also I do handle database related user queries, server or database maintenance, database management, etc. I love to share my knowledge with SQL Geeks.