How to Reset SA Password In SQL Server Using Single-User Mode?

1. Open Command Prompt in administrator mode:

Type in “Command Prompt”


Click “Run as administrator”

Click “Yes” when prompted

2. Stop SQL Instance from running:

Type in “net stop SQL Server (<Instance>)

Press “Enter”

This will stop the currently running SQL Services.

3. Restart SQL in Single-User Mode

Type in “net start MSSQLSERVER -m”SQLCMD”

Press “Enter”

You won’t see any indication that you’re running in Single-User Mode at this point, but you should see the phrase “The SQL Server <MSSQLSERVER> service was started successfully” appear.

4. Connect to SQL:

Type in “sqlcsd”

Press “Enter”

Doing so opens the SQL command line

5. Create a new user and password: You’ll do this with typed commands in the SQL command line:

Type in “create login <Login Name> with password=<’password’> (where “name” is the account name and “password” is the new password

Press “Enter”

Type in “go”

Press “Enter”

6. Add the user to the System Administrator role:

Type in “SP_ ADDSRVROLEMEMBER name, ‘SYSADMIN’” where “name” is the account name

Press “Enter”

Type in “GO”

Press “Enter”

7. Exit the SQLCMD command line:

Type in “Exit”

Press “Enter”

8. Restart SQL in regular mode:

Cancel Single-User mode by typing in


Press “Enter”

net start SQL Server (instance)

Press “Enter”

You should see the “The SQL Server <MSSQLSERVER> service was started successfully” phrase appear again

At this point, you can close Command Prompt

9. Open SSMS:

Type SQL server management studio into Start

Click Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio 17 at the top of the Start

10. Elect the correct authentication:

Click the “Authentication”

Drop-down box

Click SQL Server Authentication in the menu

11. Log in with the new user’s credentials:

Click the “Login”

Drop-down box

Click the name of the user you just created

12. Click “connect”: It’s at the bottom of the window/ as long as you adequately entered your username and password, this will open your server’s dashboard.

13. Expand your server’s folder: If your server’s folder in the upper-left side of the window doesn’t have several options below it, click the + icon to the left of it to expand it.

14. Expand the “security” folder: It’s below the server’s name.

15. Expand the “Logins” folder: You’ll find this in the group of options below the “Security” folder.

16. Double-click SA: It’s in the “Logins” group of options. Doing so opens your System Administrator properties window.

17. Enter a new password:

Type your new password into both the “Password” and the “Confirm password” text fields near the top of the window.