jm0987 jm0987 - 2 months ago 5
SQL Question

Unable to connect to Management Studio an "error occured while connecting to the sql server"

I'm familiar with basic SQL through work but I'm trying to improve. All I want to do is create my own local db on my laptop to play around with and follow online tutorials.

I've been trying all night to login to Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio 2016 but I just cannot connect. I have SQL server express 2016 installed and I am selecting "Database Engine", "local" / ".", Windows Authentication. I get the very generic "a network-related or instance-specific error occured while connecting to the sql server" error message.

I've checked on Windows services, as many guides advise, and I can SQL SERVER (SQL EXPRESS) is running with an automatic start.

I'm sure I'm doing something wrong, I just don't know what. Can anyone help? I'm really stuck.

Answer

This is probably due to the fact that your Express edition is installed in a named instance and you aren't specifying it when connection to the database server.

You can see if it has a named instance by looking for the service in Services (under Administrative Tools).

The service will be called SQL Server (INSTANCE NAME).