SQL Server Tips & Tricks, Tips & Tricks

How to fix SQL Server Management Studio’s network related issue and connect to database engine [Video]

If you try connect to SQL Server database engine in Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio, sometimes, you might be showed an error “A network or instant-related error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server”. This error prevents the user to connect to the database engine and start using SQL Server Management Studio for database related tasks.

If you are one of the people who is trying to run SQL Server Management Studio but, you are being showed this error, then you are not alone. This error occurs when the Management Studio can’t find the necessary SQL Server (SQLExpress) service to be running by Windows and it throws the error.

You can follow the simple instructions below and you will be able to connect to database engine for your SQL Server related tasks.


  • You need to open ‘Services’ which can be opened by launching Start Menu and typing ‘Services’ there. Services would be showed in results. Press it.

The Services window will open. Here look for, SQL Server (SQLExpress) and open the contextual menu by right clicking it or long pressing it.

  • In contextual menu, press ‘Start’.

  • Window will attempt to start the service on your computer.

  • Once done, open SQL Server Management Studio and connect to database engine again.
  • This time, SQL Server Management Studio will connect to SQL Server Database Engine successfully and you will be able to use it for various database related tasks
  • That’s all!

The video below depicts the same process.

You may visit our SQL Server Tips & Tricks section for more tips and tricks.


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