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Create a New Registered Server (SQL Server Management Studio)


This topic describes how to save the connection information for servers that you access frequently, by registering the server in the Registered Servers component of SQL Server Management Studio in SQL Server 2016. A server can be registered before connecting, or when connecting from Object Explorer. There is a special menu option to register the server instances on the local computer.

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 Export Registered Server Information (SQL Server Management Studio) and 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 Administer 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.

To automatically register the local server instances

  • In Registered Servers, right-click any node in the Registered Servers tree, and then click Update Local Server Registration.

To create a new registered server

  1. If Registered Servers is not visible in SQL Server Management Studio, on the View menu, click Registered Servers.

    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, 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.

    System_CAPS_security Security Note

    When possible, use Windows Authentication. For more information, see Choose 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.

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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 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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