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How to Login SQL Server after SA Account Locked Out

SA account locked out and lost other users’ sysadmin privileges? How to login SQL Server database?

This article will introduce two cases, to explain why we cannot login SQL Server with SA account and how to unlock SA account to login SQL Server.

Case 1: Login SQL Server with Windows Authentication and Unlock SA Account

While the fact is that SA account has been really locked out of logon in SQL Server settings, please try to login SQL Server with Windows Authentication. If it can work, this problem would be solved easily. If not, just only to look for other ways.

Step 1: Open SQL Server Management Studio Express and Connect with Windows Authentication.

login SQL Server with Windows Authentication after SA locked out

Step 2: Unfold Security > Logins, and right-click on sa, then choose Properties.

open SA account propertities window

Step 3: Select Status tab on the left pane of Login Properties. Under Status option, you can see whether SA account is locked out of logon. If it is locked out, just uncheck "Login is locked out" and click OK.

unlock locked SA account in properties window

Case 2: Login SQL Server with SA Account by Unlocking SA Account with Tool

If SA account locked out is because of password forgot or lost, the case would be different from case 1. While this happens, you just need to find ways to reset SA password for logining SQL Server again. And this would not trouble most of SQL Server users, since so many SQL password recovery tools have been used for SQL user password reset or unlock SQL SA account. SQL Password Genius is one of them, enabling users to reset SA password after only three steps and no damage to SQL Server database.

Preparation: Stop SQL Server servivces at Start - All Programs - Microsoft SQL Server - Configuration Tools - SQL Server Configuration Manager.

Step 1: Install and run SQL Password Genius on computer.

After getting SQL Password Genius (trial version or full version), install and run it on Windows computer where SQL Server has been installed.

unlock locked SA account with SQL Password Genius

Step 2 : Search and import SQL master database into SQL Password Genius.

Click "Open File" to search master database file in computer. If it is lost, SQL Password Genius will not help to reset SQL SA password. So protect it anytime. When it is found, open it in SQL Password Genius.

Master database file usual location: C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Data

Step 3: Reset password to unlock SA account.

As soon as SA account appears in SQL Password Genius, just select it and click on Reset button. When a new dialog pops up, input a new password in box for SA account and click "OK".

Now close SQL Password Genius, restart SQL Server services, and you could login SQL Server with SA account ever locked.

login SQL Server with SA account

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