How to convert default instance to named instance in SQL Server 2012?

By mistake I have chosen default instance option and installed. Now I have to change to named instance. How to change?

4 Answers 4


Install the named instance, move the databases, agent jobs, etc over to it, then uninstall the now unused default instance.

  • 3
    Good point migrating anything you've created. I assumed, bad habit, that he noticed the problem immediately after installation. Jan 7, 2016 at 3:51
  • 1
    Instead of moving jobs ( if there are many)- just restore msdb using backup restore.
    – Kin Shah
    Jan 7, 2016 at 13:24

The simple answer is you can't. If you aren't going to use the default instance, just uninstall it. You can install SQL Server again and create a named instance.


you can rename your instance but you can not change the named instance to default instance and vice versa.


How to convert named instance to default instance in SQL Server 2012?

  1. Open SQL Server Configuration Manager
  2. Click SQL Server Network Configuration
  3. Click Protocols for INSTANCENAME you want to make available
  4. Right-click TCP/IP and click Enabled
  5. Right-click TCP/IP and go to Properties
  6. Go to the IP Addresses tab
  7. Scroll down to the IPAll section
  8. Clear the field TCP Dynamic Ports (i.e. empty/blank)
  9. Set TCP Port to 1433
  10. Click Ok
  11. Go to SQL Server Services
  12. Right-click your SQL Server (INSTANCENAME) and click Restart
  • 1
    The opposite question may be useful as well but it deserves to be asked and answered separately. You can post a question together with the answer by ticking the "Answer your own question" checkbox at the bottom of the Ask a question page. Read more at Can I answer my own question? Also, please consider registering your account so that you don't accidentally lose ownership of your posts.
    – Andriy M
    Oct 18, 2019 at 9:43
  • There are numerous reasons why simply changing the port of a named instance to 1433 is not the equivalent of making it the default instance. Yes, you won't need to specify the name of the instance when connecting to the server, however anything that checks the name of the server, such as @@SERVERNAME, will still see the instance name.
    – Hannah Vernon
    Jan 12, 2022 at 16:58
  • It's true this doesn't answer the question asked, and would be better as a seperate question and answer, but it was exactly what I wanted to do. And, no, I don't care that it will not actually be the "default" instance.
    – Auspex
    Feb 23 at 16:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.