Locked out of SQL Server instance because you’ve forgotten the SA password or SQL users got locked out or disabled? In this article I’ll show you a simple way to unlock / reset the SA password in SQL Server without having any sort of administrator rights to the SQL instance.
Before getting started, you need to stop your SQL Server instance. Download and install SQL Server Password Changer on your local server.
Once the installation is complete, start the SQL Server Password Changer program. Click on Open File button and then select the master.mdf file for your SQL Server instance. By default you can find the master.mdf file under this directory: C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL11.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA, where MSSQL11.MSSQLSERVER is the name of your SQL Server instance.
After choosing the master.mdf file, the program will analyze the file and show you a list of SQL user accounts. Choose the SA account and click on Change Password button. Set a new password for the account and click OK.
The program will change the password of your SA account, and check out the account status. In the event of your account is locked out or disabled, the program will automatically unlock it as well. Close the program.
Start your SQL Server instance and you can then connect to your SA account with your specified new password! By following the steps above you can reset SA password on SQL Server 2014, 2012, 2008, 2005 and 2000.