How to set SQL Server password for SA login

Learn how to set a SQL Server password to an SA login and why you can not set this account for access to separate SQL Server databases.

Can I set a password to a particular SQL Server database on SA login?
The SA login is a special account for SQL Server because it is the System Administrator (thusly named SA). It is technically a login and not a user – these two concepts are separate in SQL Server terminology. You should set a very strong password to the SA login. You can do this by expanding out the "Logins" object beneath "Security" which is itself beneath the SQL Server object. Right click on the "SA" account on the right window pane and change the password accordingly.

Since this account has full access to all databases, you cannot set a per-database password. If this level of security is required, I suggest NOT using the "SA" account at all. Rather, create an administrative account for each database and assign each a strong password.

This was first published in December 2007

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