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Enabling SQL Server Authentication after Installation

19 September 2013

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If you install SQL Server using the default options, Windows authentication will be enabled and SQL Server authentication will be disabled. This post discusses how to enable SQL Server Authentication after installation and also enable the sa login.

Enabling SQL Server Authentication

Here are the steps to enable SQL Server authentication:

  1. Log in to SQL Server Management Studio using Windows authentication.
  2. Right click the server then choose Properties.
  3. Go to the Security page.
  4. Click “SQL Server and Windows Authentication mode”.
  5. Click OK twice.
  6. Right click on the server then choose Restart.

Enabling the sa Login

If you installed using the default options, chances are you don’t know the password to the sa login. You can use a script to enable the sa login and change the password at the same time. Just execute the following script:


ALTER LOGIN sa WITH PASSWORD = '<enterStrongPasswordHere>';

You should now be able to login with SQL Server Authentication using the sa login.