Why can't I login to my SQL Server database on Azure, and how do I correct this? No one in our company has changed the password of our Azure SQL Server database administrator user, yet I'm getting the error noted below when I use SQL Server Management Studio 2017 on my local PC and try to connect to my Azure database as I always have:

Server Name: XXXX.database.windows.net Error Number: 18456 Severity: 14 State: 1 Line Number: 65536

According to Microsoft (https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/relational-databases/errors-events/mssqlserver-18456-database-engine-error?view=sql-server-2017), Error 18456 is a logon failure. I'm not sure what the Severity value means. But as for the State value of 1, it means, "Error information is not available. This state usually means you do not have permission to receive the error details. Contact your SQL Server administrator for more information."

Unfortunately, the Azure support website is down so I can't investigate further.

2 Answers 2


Azure is having a pretty major outage right now!

Microsoft has warned that a "subset of customers in South Central US" may experience Azure problems today after cooling issues sent the servers scurrying for the shutdown button.

The warning was first raised by Microsoft at 09:29 UTC as pretty much everything in the South Central US region went offline thanks to a temperature spike that caused servers to automatically shut down to avoid damage.

I'd suggest following @AzureSupport to stay updated.

Unfortunately, the Azure support website is down so I can't investigate further.

Is a pretty good clue as to what's going on.


Thanks for the heads up on the Microsoft Azure outage! However, I also went a bit further and

  1. visited https://portal.azure.com and
  2. clicked "SQL databases" on the navigation bar at left (I think that leads to https://portal.azure.com/#blade/HubsExtension/Resources/resourceType/Microsoft.Sql%2Fservers%2Fdatabases).

  3. Under the Subscription column at far right of the table that subsequently appeared, I saw a link titled "(Disabled) Free Trial".

  4. Clicking on that led to a Subscription Preview screen that stated that, "This account is on a deprecated billing system. Ask the Account Admin, @, to contact Support to move it to the new system."

Thus, it seems the problem stems from the fact that the Azure account was started using a company credit card that was recently canceled (the account owner just left the company). We just had to correct that situation by updating the credit card information and then switching the account admin (see https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/billing/billing-subscription-transfer). Other folks in the organization handled that.

Postscript: I ended up becoming involved in the administrative portion of this exercise due to the fact that even after transferring ownership of the subscription to the new account admin user in the company, the resource group, database server, and database still would not show up under that admin's Azure portal. Microsoft techies thought the system needed time to propagate the changes but then I ventured on to learn that I also had to individually set the new account admin as both an Owner and as a Co-administrator under the "Account control (IAM)" screen. To get there, in the Azure portal,

  1. Choose All services and then Subscriptions
  2. Choose your subscription
  3. Choose Access control (IAM)
  4. Click Add In the Add permissions screen that follows,

    a. set the Role to "Owner"

    b. set the Assign access field to "Azure AD user, group, or application"

    c. find the new account admin user in the list titled Select

    d. click Save

  5. Then back on the "Access control (IAM)" screen, right-click (or click the dot/ellipsis menu to the right of) the new account admin's name and select "Add as co-administrator"

  6. Finally, visit https://account.azure.com/Subscriptions and

    a. click on your newly transferred subscription's hyperlink

    b. click "Edit subscription details"

    c. On the pop-up titled "Make it yours", change the SERVICE ADMINISTRATOR e-mail to the new account admin's e-mail

Much of the above is also documented at https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/billing/billing-add-change-azure-subscription-administrator.

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