There are many situations where we need to change SA password when using SQL Server. SQL Server has default SA password when you enable the mixed Authentication. And, you were required to change the default SA password the first time you enable the SA account, which is disabled by default. Well, the situation where we expect to change SA password is more than that. When SQL Server forgot or lost SA password, we hope to change the SA password and get a new one to unlock the SA account, which has SQL Server highest administrator privilege.
So, the thing we care the most should be how to change SQL Server SA password after we have forgotten it. Following, see 2 methods to change/ reset SQL Server SA password when forgot it.
Method 1: Change SA password by Windows Authentication
If you still can login to SQL Server with Windows Authentication, just open SQL Server Management Studio Express to change SA password.
Step 1: Open SQL Server Management Studio.
Step 2: Login with Windows Authentication.
Step 3: In Object Explorer, go to Security -> Logins -> sa.
Step 4: Double click on sa to open Login Properties.
Step 5: Select General page. Change SA password and click OK to save changes.
Method 2: Change SQL Server SA password without Login
If failed to login with Windows Authentication, you still can change SA password without login to SQL Server.
Step 1: Download and install SQL Password Geeker on your PC.
Tips: SQL Password Geeker is third party software which allows you to change SA user or other users passwords without login.
Step 2: Stop SQL Server services. (Open SQL Server Configuration Manager to stop all services.)
Important: It is critical to firstly stop all SQL Server services before you run SQL Password Geeker to change SA password.
Step 3: Run SQL Password Geeker. Click Open File button.
Step 4: Navigate to the disk where your SQL Server is installed. Go to Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Data. Select the master.mdf file and click Open button.
Then the master.mdf file should be mounted in SQL Password Geeker. And you can view all users in your SQL Server. So you can select the sa user or any one user to change its password.
Step 5: Select the sa user and click Reset button.
Step 6: Type a new password and click OK to save changes.
Then a dialog saying password successfully changed pops up to tell you have changed the SA password successfully.
Once SA password has been changed successfully, remember the new password then close SQL Password Geeker. Start SQL Server services and then you can login to SQL Server with the new SA password.