How to configure SQL Server 2005 2008 2012 to allow remote connections

When you try to connect to an instance of Sql Server 2005 or upper version from your application or from a remote computer most of the times you may get an remote connectivity error message. Because by default, SQL Server 2005/2008/2012 doesn’t allow remote connection, so you have to enable it manually. If you try to connect to remote SQL Server without enabling remote connection first, you’ll see one of these error messages:

1. Sql server does not allow remote connections.
2. SQL Network Interfaces, error: 26 – Error Locating Server/Instance Specified.
3. An error has occured while establishing a connection to the server. When connecting to SQL Server 2005,this failure may be caused by the fact that under the default settings SQL Server does not allow remote connections.(provider:Named Pipes Provider,error:40-Could not open connection to SQL Server))Server does not exist or access denied.

Steps for resolution:
1. Enable remote connections on the instance of SQL Server that you want to connect to from a remote computer.
2. Turn on the SQL Server Browser service.
3. Configure the firewall to allow network traffic that is related to SQL Server and to the SQL Server Browser service.

Enable remote connection:
If you use Sql Server Management studio then:
1. open.
2. Connect to the remote server.Right click on the server instance.Select properties.
3. Click Connections. Check to allow remote connections to this server.

Remote Conncetion

If you use Express or Developer edition then follow the below steps:
Click Start –>> Programs –>> Microsoft SQL Server 2005 –>>
Configuration Tools –>> SQL Server Surface Area Configuration.
Now click Surface Area Configuration for Services and Connections.
Now expand Database Engine, click Remote Connections, click Local and remote connections, click the appropriate protocol to enable for your environment, and then click Apply.

sql server 2005 surface area configuration

Restart MSSQLSERVER service from
Start –>> Control Panel –>> Administrative Tools –>>
Service –>> Select MSSQL Server –>> Restart Service

Enable Sql Server Browser service:
One thing noted that this may increase security risk. Microsoft recommend that you use this process only if you really require this process.To enable the SQL Server Browser service, follow these steps.

Click Start –>> Programs –>> Microsoft SQL Server 2005 –>>
Configuration Tools –>> SQL Server Surface Area Configuration
Now click Surface Area Configuration for Services and Connection
Select SQL Server Browser –>> Select Startup type Automatic –>> Apply

Browser Service

Create exception in windows firewall for SQL Server:
If you are running a firewall on the computer that is running SQL Server 2005/2008/2012, external connections to SQL Server 2005/2008/2012 will be blocked unless SQL Server 2005/2008/2012 and the SQL Server Browser service can communicate through the firewall. You must create an exception for each instance of SQL Server 2005/2008/2012 that you want to accept remote connections and an exception for the SQL Server Browser service.

Open Start –>> Control Panel –>> Windows Firewall
Select Exceptions tab –>> Add Program –>> Browse
Click the C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Shared\sqlbrowser.exe executable program, click Open, and then click OK.

Note: path may be different depending upon your installation.

You can get more details from:

If you want to execute whole command through TSQL/DOS you can visit:

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