I am currently trying to migrate my ssms registered servers from one machine to another. This is complicated by the fact that I am running ssms 17 on the source, and ssms 16 on the destination. I would run 17 on the second computer but it is only a 32 bit machine, so i am sol for that.

I have well over 100 machines saved so I am hoping there is some way to move the configuration rather then have to start building it from scratch.

  • 3
    Have you tried export/import? I don't believe the format has changed in a while? Jul 6 '18 at 20:40
  • I did try export import and it isn't working. im not sure if its a 17.x vs 16.x issue or a 32bit vs 64bit issue, but it fails.
    – Patrick
    Jul 9 '18 at 13:05
  • If I have time I'll try to do this sometime this week but you could try adding one or two servers on 17, export, do the same on 16 then do a compare. See what the differences are and manually change the 17 export (search and replace, etc) Jul 18 '18 at 15:39
  • Comparing the xml files seems exceptionally painful, but not as painful as re-registering all the servers. I might have to resort to this. If I go down this road, I'll update the post
    – Patrick
    Jul 20 '18 at 3:52
  • I was thinking in terms of doing a file compare of the 2 files. Just one or two registrations in each. Just to find the differences so you can do search and replaces to fix them. Jul 20 '18 at 16:12
  1. In SSMS open the Registered Servers tab.

  2. On the Local Server Groups perform a right-click to bring up the menu and then navigate through tree until you reach the Export option:

    Local Server Groups Context Menu : Tasks | Export ...

  3. Assign a name:

    Export Registered Servers | Export File | Enter name

    e.g. C:\temp\My_Local_Server_Groups.regsrvr

  4. On your new server open the Registered Servers tab.

  5. Open up the context menu on the Local Serer Groups branch and navigate to the Import... option. (see screen shot from step 2)

  6. Select your previously create file and hit OK:

    Import Registered Servers Dialog | Import File:

There you go.


You should use dbatools - Copy-DbaRegServer

This command copies all groups, subgroups, and registered servers from one SQL Server to another. By default, all objects are copied.

To migrate all groups, subgroups, and server instances are copied from sqlserver’s Central Management Server to sqlcluster’s Central Management Server.

Copy-DbaRegServer -Source sqlserver -Destination sqlcluster
  • 1
    I am not using a Central Management server though, just local server groups in ssms. Is there a variation of this that works with the local server groups/registered servers?
    – Patrick
    Jul 9 '18 at 13:07

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