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New or Edit Server Registration (General Tab) (Database Engine)

Use this tab to specify options when registering an instance of Microsoft SQL Server.

To access this page, in Registered Servers, click any product button on the Registered Servers toolbar, right-click any registered servers group, point to New, and then click Server Registration.

There are two kinds of registered servers:

  • Local server groups

    Use local server groups to easily connect to servers that you frequently manage. Both local and non-local servers are registered into local server groups. Local server groups are unique to each user. For information about how to share registered server information, see How to: Export Registered Server Information (SQL Server Management Studio) and How to: Import Registered Server Information (SQL Server Management Studio).


    We recommend that you use Windows Authentication whenever possible.

  • Central Management Servers

    Central Management Servers store server registrations in the Central Management Server instead of on the file system. Central Management Servers and subordinate registered servers can be registered only by using Windows Authentication. After a Central Management Server has been registered, its associated registered servers will be automatically displayed. For more information about Central Management Servers, see Administering Multiple Servers Using Central Management Servers. Versions of SQL Server that are earlier than SQL Server 2008 cannot be designated as a Central Management Server.

Server type

When a server is registered from Registered Servers, the Server type box is read-only, and matches the type of server displayed in the Registered Servers pane. To register a different type of server, click Database Engine, Analysis Server, Reporting Services, SQL Server Compact, or Integration Services on the Registered Servers toolbar before starting to register a new server.

Server name

Select the server instance to register in the format: <servername>[\<instancename>].


Two authentication modes are available when connecting to an instance of SQL Server.

Windows Authentication

Windows Authentication mode allows a user to connect through a Microsoft Windows user account.

SQL Server Authentication

When a user connects with a specified login name and password from a nontrusted connection, SQL Server performs the authentication itself by checking whether a SQL Server login account has been set up and whether the specified password matches the one previously recorded. If SQL Server does not have a login account set, authentication fails, and the user receives an error message.

Security noteSecurity Note

When possible, use Windows Authentication. For more information, see Choosing an Authentication Mode.

User name

Shows the current user name you are connecting with. This read-only option is only available if you have selected to connect using Windows Authentication. To change User names, log in to the computer as a different user.


Enter the login to connect with. This option is available only if you have selected to connect using SQL Server Authentication.


Enter the password for the login. This option can be edited only if you have selected to connect by using SQL Server Authentication.

Remember password

Select to have SQL Server encrypt and store the password you have entered. This option is displayed only if you have selected to connect using SQL Server Authentication.


If you have stored the password and want to stop storing it, clear this check box, and then click Save.

Registered server name

The name you want to appear in Registered Servers. This name does not have to match the Server name box.

Registered server description

Enter an optional description of the server.


Click to test the connection to the server selected in Server name.


Click to save the registered server settings.

The Query Editor window in SQL Server Management Studio can connect to and query multiple instances of SQL Server at the same time. The results that are returned by the query can be merged into a single results pane, or they can be returned in separate results panes. As an option, Query Editor can include columns that provide the name of the server that produced each row, and also the login that was used to connect to the server that provided each row. For more information about how to execute multiserver queries, see How to: Execute Statements Against Multiple Servers Simultaneously (SQL Server Management Studio).

To execute queries against all the servers in a local server group, right-click the server group, point to click Connect, and then click New Query. When queries are executed in the new Query Editor window, they will execute against all servers in the group, using the stored connection information including the user authentication context. Servers registered by using SQL Server Authentication but not saving the password will fail to connect.

To execute queries against all the servers that are registered with a Central Management Server, expand the Central Management Server, right-click the server group, point to click Connect, and then click New Query. When queries are executed in the new Query Editor window, they will execute against all of the servers in the server group, using the stored connection information and using the Windows Authentication context of the user.

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