Remove the Witness from a Database Mirroring Session (SQL Server)

Applies to: SQL Server

This topic describes how to remove a witness from a database mirroring session in SQL Server by using SQL Server Management Studio or Transact-SQL. At any time during a database mirroring session, the database owner can turn off the witness for a database mirroring session.

In This Topic

Before You Begin



Requires ALTER permission on the database.

Using SQL Server Management Studio

To remove the witness

  1. Connect to the principal server instance and, in the Object Explorer pane, click the server name to expand the server tree.

  2. Expand Databases, and select the database whose witness you want to remove.

  3. Right-click the database, select Tasks, and then click Mirror. This opens the Mirroring page of the Database Properties dialog box.

  4. To remove the witness, delete its server network address from the Witness field.


    If you switch from high-safety mode with automatic failover to high-performance mode, the Witness field is automatically cleared.

Using Transact-SQL

To remove the witness

  1. Connect to the Database Engine on either partner server instance.

  2. From the Standard bar, click New Query.

  3. Issue the following statement:


    where database_name is the name of the mirrored database.

    The following example removes the witness from the AdventureWorks2022 database.

    ALTER DATABASE AdventureWorks2022 SET WITNESS OFF ;  

Follow Up: After Removing the Witness

Turning off the witness changes the operating mode in accordance with the transaction-safety setting:

  • If transaction safety is set to FULL (the default), the session uses high-safety, synchronous mode without automatic failover.

  • If transaction safety is set to OFF, the session operates asynchronously (in high-performance mode) without requiring quorum. Whenever transaction safety is turned off, we strongly recommend also turning the witness off.


The transaction safety setting of the database is recorded on each partner in the sys.database_mirroring catalog view in the mirroring_safety_level and mirroring_safety_level_desc columns.

Related Tasks

See Also

ALTER DATABASE Database Mirroring (Transact-SQL)
Change Transaction Safety in a Database Mirroring Session (Transact-SQL)
Add a Database Mirroring Witness Using Windows Authentication (Transact-SQL)
Database Mirroring Witness