SCM Services - Change the Service Startup Account
Applies to: SQL Server (all supported versions)
This topic describes how to use SQL Server Configuration Manager to change the start up options of SQL Server services and to change the service accounts that are used by the SQL Server Database Engine, SQL Server Agent, SQL Server Browser, SQL Server Analysis Services, and SQL Server Integration Services with SQL Server Management Studio, Transact-SQL, or PowerShell. For more information about how to select an appropriate service account, see Configure Windows Service Accounts and Permissions.
When you change the service startup account for the Database Engine and SQL Server Agent, the SQL Server service (the Database Engine) must be restarted for the change to take effect. When the service is restarted, all databases associated with that instance of SQL Server will be unavailable until the service successfully restarts. If you have to change the service startup account of SQL Server or SQL Server Agent, make sure that you do so during regularly scheduled maintenance or when the databases can be taken offline without interrupting daily operations.
Before You Begin
Limitations and Restrictions
Changing the service account that is used by SQL Server or SQL Server Agent must be performed from the active node of the SQL Server cluster.
When running on Windows Server 2008 (in a non-default configuration using Domain groups), changing the service account that is used by SQL Server or SQL Server Agent requires SQL Server Configuration Manager to stop SQL Server by taking the resource groups offline.
SKU Upgrade (SQL Server Express to non-Express SKU)
During SQL Server Express installation, the SQL Server Agent service is configured to use the Network Service account but disabled. SQL Server Configuration Manager can change the account assigned for the SQL Server Agent service but the service cannot be enabled or started. After SKU upgrade from SQL Server Express to non-Express, the SQL Server Agent service is not automatically enabled, but can be enabled when needed by using the SQL Server Configuration Manager and changing the service start mode to Manual or Automatic.
Using SQL Server Configuration Manager
To change the SQL Server service startup account
On the Start menu, point to All Programs, point to SQL Server, point to Configuration Tools, and then click SQL Server Configuration Manager.
Because SQL Server Configuration Manager is a snap-in for the Microsoft Management Console program and not a stand-alone program, SQL Server Configuration Manager does not appear as an application in newer versions of Windows.
- Windows 10 and Windows 11:
To open SQL Server Configuration Manager, on the Start Page, type SQLServerManager13.msc (for SQL Server 2016 (13.x)). For other versions of SQL Server replace 13 with the appropriate number. Clicking SQLServerManager13.msc opens the Configuration Manager. To pin the Configuration Manager to the Start Page or Task Bar, right-click SQLServerManager13.msc, and then click Open file location. In the Windows File Explorer, right-click SQLServerManager13.msc, and then click Pin to Start or Pin to taskbar.
- Windows 8:
To open SQL Server Configuration Manager, in the Search charm, under Apps, type SQLServerManager<version>.msc such as SQLServerManager13.msc, and then press Enter.
- Windows 10 and Windows 11:
In SQL Server Configuration Manager, click SQL Server Services.
In the details pane, right-click the name of the SQL Server instance for which you want to change the service startup account, and then click Properties.
In the SQL Server <instancename> Properties dialog box, click the Log On tab, and select a Log on as account type.
After selecting the new service startup account, click OK.
A message box asks whether you want to restart the SQL Server service.
Click Yes, and then close SQL Server Configuration Manager.
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