Manage the Database Engine Services

Applies to: SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server runs on the operating systems as a service. A service is a type of application that runs in the system background. Services usually provides core operating system features, such as Web serving, event logging, or file serving. Services can run without showing a user interface on the computer desktop. The SQL Server Database Engine, SQL Server Agent, and several other SQL Server components run as services. These services typically are started when the operating system starts. This depends on what is specified during setup; some services are not started by default. This section describes the management of the various SQL Server services. Before you log in to an instance of SQL Server, you need to know how to start, stop, pause, resume, and restart an instance of SQL Server. After you are logged in, you can perform tasks such as administering the server or querying a database.

Using the SQL Server Service

When you start an instance of SQL Server Database Engine, you are starting the SQL Server service. After you start the SQL Server service, users can establish new connections to the server. The SQL Server service can be started and stopped as a service, either locally or remotely. The SQL Server service is referred to as SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER) if it is the default instance, or MSSQL$<instancename> if it is a named instance.

Using SQL Server Configuration Manager

SQL Server Configuration Manager allows you to stop, start, or pause various SQL Server services.


SQL Server Configuration Manager cannot manage SQL Server 2000 (8.x) services.

You can also use SQL Server Configuration Manager to view the properties of the selected service. SQL Server Configuration Manager is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in. For more information about MMC and how a snap-in works, see Windows Help.

To access SQL Server Configuration Manager

  • On the Start menu, point to All Programs, point to Microsoft SQL Server, point to Configuration Tools, and then click SQL Server Configuration Manager.

To access SQL Server Configuration Manager Using Windows 8

Because SQL Server Configuration Manager is a snap-in for the Microsoft Management Console program and not a stand-alone program, SQL Server Configuration Manager not does not appear as an application when running Windows 8.0. To open SQL Server Configuration Manager, in the Search charm, under Apps, type SQLServerManager12.msc (for SQL Server 2014 (12.x)), SQLServerManager11.msc (for SQL Server 2012 (11.x)), or SQLServerManager10.msc (for SQL Server 2008 (10.0.x)), and then press Enter.

In this Section

Configure SQL Server Agent

Logging In to SQL Server