What is the best way to re-install a SQL Server that was installed using a wrong language without losing any configuration?

  • Should I install a second instance parallel to the default instance - here I do not know if this is anyhow possible at all if using a different language?

  • Or should I install a second installation of Sql Server (as if it were two different Versions)?

  • Alternatively I could of course uninstall the old and install a new Sql Server using the correct language.

Independent of the way to go, as you can imagine, I definitely want to avoid doing all the maintenance work for creation of Logins, Users, Permissions, Alerts, Operators, Jobs etc. again. Is there a good approach to achieve this?

  • So you are saying you have chosen wrong collation setting for the SQL Server ?
    – Shanky
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 13:47
  • No, the wrong language. A German SQL Version was installed. This causes problems with SQL Statements coming in. Please read: dba.stackexchange.com/questions/154978/…
    – Magier
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 13:49
  • Have you tried just setting the regional settings in Windows to English? (Date / Time / Keyboard) But I would recommend having an English Windows Server and an English SQL Server installation any time. Stuck with German / German at the moment. You might be able to backup the master/msdb databases and reinstall SQL Server and then resetore the master and msdb database over the new installation. You would then have an English SQL Server running on a German Windows Server. Never tried it myself.
    – John K. N.
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 14:20
  • Had same thoughts and made some spikes - but with backup/restore of master I ran into new trouble. The solution below is very straight forward and working in my case so I will go for that and hold on until - hopefully not - new problems may happen...
    – Magier
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 14:33

2 Answers 2


In the old days with SQL Server 6.4, I would say that you would have to uninstall and then re-install. But SQL Server has gotten better since then. So try changing it with the code below. But if you have any problems in the next 2 months, uninstall and re-install.


USE AdventureWorks2012 ;  
EXEC sp_configure 'default language', 2 ;  
  • So you are telling me that all that matters is the language of a login's session that is by default derived from the installation language and not the installation language itself!? Holy good that I asked here....! That saves a lot of work... => Will the already derived default language of a login also get changed as soon I change the default lang of the instance?
    – Magier
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 14:07
  • The answer is no. But however, your answer is great.
    – Magier
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 14:26

This can be done from the SSMS GUI. Right click on the instance in object explorer and go to properties.

From there navigate to the Advanced page.

There is a drop down item there for Default Language.

Alternatively, if you know the language code you can do it via tsql

EXEC sp_configure 'default language', 0 ; 

where 0 is English in this case.

See https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-GB/library/ms190682.aspx

You may also need to update or change the default language of logins via their properties page.

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