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How to Hide an Instance of SQL Server

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How to Hide an Instance of SQL Server

If you have ever wanted to hide an instance of SQL Server, this is the post for you.

· Database Zone ·
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MariaDB TX, proven in production and driven by the community, is a complete database solution for any and every enterprise — a modern database for modern applications.

When you launch SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), you see the option to connect to an instance. If desired, you have the ability to browse instances running on your network. Just click on the drop-down and at the bottom, there is a Browse for more… option: 

how to hide instance of SQL Server

This allows you to browse for local or network instances. I have four instances running on my laptop. You can see them displayed in this list:

how to hide instance of SQL Server SSMS list

Let’s assume one of these instances is double top-secret and we don’t want users to see the instance name. That’s possible through SQL Server Configuration Manager (SSCM). Open up SSCM and navigate to your SQL Server instances: 

how to hide instance of SQL Server SSCM list

In SSCM, expand SQL Server Network Configuration, right-click Protocols for the instance you want to hide, then select Properties:

how to hide instance of SQL Server properties

On the Flags tab, in the Hide Instance box, select Yes, and then click OK to close the dialog box: 

how to hide instance of SQL Server flagsThe dialog box says to restart SQL to apply the changes, but that is not the case for this specific change. Any new connection will not be able to see this instance listed. Here’s what I see after closing SSMS and trying to browse again:

how to hide instance of SQL Server success

There you go — an easy way to hide your SQL Server instance from anyone who is browsing your network.

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database ,sql server ,tutorial ,ssms

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