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Getting a Dedicated Admin Connection

Did you know you can easily get a Dedicated Admin Connection (DAC) in SSMS? I didn’t assuming that I’d need to use a command line and SQLCMD. However while studying for the MCM, I learned that there’s an easy way.

I tested this on a SQL Server 2008 instance, having a normal connection, as seen in the lower status bar:


Right click in the query window, and select “Change Connection”. In the dialog, now add the text “Admin:” before the server name, as shown below.


When you connect, you’ll have an admin connection, which you can see in the status bar.


Pretty cool.

The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


Posted by Gethyn Ellis on 28 December 2010

Steve, nice post, I think I read, maybe heard that you should be sure not to connect with the  DAC to object explorer but a new query as you pointed out.

Posted by Steve Jones on 28 December 2010

You can connect to Object Explorer, but then you won't be able to get a query connection.

Posted by Sankar Reddy on 28 December 2010

Hi Steve,

There is a small typo in your post and it confused me a bit. In the dialog, not add "Admin" should really be be In the dialog, NOW add "Admin".

Posted by Steve Jones on 28 December 2010

Typo corrected

Posted by Gethyn Ellis on 28 December 2010

Steve should have mentioned in my first comment, good luck with the MCM, be good see how you get on. Will be blogging about your experiences?

Posted by Jason Brimhall on 28 December 2010

Thanks Steve - useful info.

Posted by WayneS on 28 December 2010

Did you not read my article where I demo'd just that? (Including not to connect to Object Explorer, because you only get one connection.)


Posted by Steve Jones on 28 December 2010


I didn't. I actually found it from another source. :(

Posted by tstaker on 29 December 2010

I gleamed this gem from the MCM videos as well.  These videos are awesome.  Wayne, I remember reading your article but I'm not sure why I didn't pick up on that.  Probably because at the time I couldn't see the reason for it.  I'm going to reread your article. now. :(

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