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How to Find SQL Server Configuration Manager


SQL Server Configuration Manager (SSCM) should be a relatively easy tool to find and use. There are occasions when this tool simply opts to play hide and seek with the DBA. When the DBA has to start playing hide and seek to find a tool that is used on a fairly routine basis, it is highly probable that it will become frustrating.

A tool should not be difficult to find. It’s not like a neighbor comes over and borrows SSCM and simply forgets to bring it back. No, it simply decides to not be found through usual methods on the start menu or via the search tool.

Hide And Seek

Generally speaking, SSCM should be easy to find on the start menu. If you open the start menu, there are two quick ways to find it. First, you would have the traditional shortcut as shown here:

As you will see in the preceding image, I have highlighted in red the SSCM icon. There is nothing terribly exhausting or difficult about this method.

If you don’t want to take the time to click down into the menus from the start menu, then an alternative method that is extremely easy is to just take advantage of the search function from start menu. It is really easy to access the search function (in modern versions of Windows), from the start menu. To use start, simply click the windows flag and then just start typing. In the following image, I have typed the word “configuration” using this same method. You will note that it populates SQL Server Configuration Manager as the top option for me.

My preferred method for finding SSCM is this second method. That is except in the cases where I have pinned the SSCM shortcut to my Start Menu as shown in the following.

All of the preceding methods are extremely easy. But there are times that the SSCM doesn’t show up in either of the first two options. What do we do then?

Ha Ha found it!

As it turns out, our little management console plugin loves to play hide and seek in certain versions of Windows all the time. Sometimes, this hide and seek is extended to other versions of Windows, but the fix is the same for all regardless of version of Windows.

For me, the easy method is to use MMC and add the snapin(s) for SSCM. Open MMC from a run prompt by typing MMC in the dialog. After the MMC opens, then it is a matter of navigating to the FIle menu in order to add the appropriate Snap-in – as shown in the following image.

After clicking “Add/Remove Snap-in…”, a new window will appear with the registered Snap-ins. Among the available Snap-ins should be the SQL Server Configuration Manager Snap-in(s), as shown in the following.

Unfortunately, the mmc Snap-in tool does not distinguish versions of the SSCM tool. Despite that shortcoming, just add all of the SSCM Snap-ins you find in the list on the left. Why? Because it is easier than navigating to separate SSCM tools and you can manage all of them from a single mmc window when using this method.


Suppose you are having problems with the MMC, what should you do next? Well, in that case, the following would be of great use. The following information is gleaned from Microsoft documentation on SSCM.

SQL Server 2019C:WindowsSysWOW64SQLServerManager15.msc
SQL Server 2017C:WindowsSysWOW64SQLServerManager14.msc
SQL Server 2016C:WindowsSysWOW64SQLServerManager13.msc
SQL Server 2014 (12.x)C:WindowsSysWOW64SQLServerManager12.msc
SQL Server 2012 (11.x)C:WindowsSysWOW64SQLServerManager11.msc

Given this information, it is also rather easy to get a shortcut pinned to the Windows Start Menu to simplify your life even further. Simply navigate to the C:WindowsSysWOW64 folder and locate the appropriate SSMC msc file. Right click that file and then select “Pin to Start”. Suddenly, your nightmares with finding SSCM are resolved and life just got easier again!

Put a bow on it

SQL Server Configuration Manager (SSCM) likes to disappear from time to time. When it does, what is your backup plan? This article demonstrates how not to be fooled by the vanishing act of SQL Server Configuration Manager. Nobody likes to waste time trying to find something that should be readily available. There are more important things to be done and better ways to allocate the precious commodity called time (even if the method of spending that commodity is for a short nap).

Don’t get miffed by this disappearing act. Be prepared to counteract the disappearance of SSCM with a little upfront knowledge and a plan to act. Then when the disappearing act commences, you will be prepared and won’t miss a beat in your rockstar DBA lifestyle.

Interested in learning about various other basics style topics for SQL Server? Check out this collection of back to basics articles on all sorts of varying topics!

Would you rather spend your time with some ultra light reading? Try this index maintenance article or this index size article.

And for those that prefer to take some deep technical dives into the world of SQL Server, I have just the thing for you. This collection ranges in complexity from level 100-500 and covers a wide depth and breadth of topics in SQL Server.

This is the tenth article in the 2020 “12 Days of Christmas” series. For the full list of articles, please visit this page.

The post How to Find SQL Server Configuration Manager first appeared on SQL RNNR.

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