I'm upgrading my dev machine from Windows 7 to 8. While installing earlier versions of Visual Studio it installed SQL Server 2005. I then went to this site and downloaded and installed SQL Server Management Studio (SQLManagementStudio_x64_ENU.exe file) and then SQL Server 2012 Express (SQLEXPR_x64_ENU.exe file). Then did a mandatory reboot.

But when I load up management studio and do:


I'm still getting SQL Server 2005. Any idea how to make it use SQL Server 2012?

EDIT: This is a screenshot of what I'm getting from SQL Config Manager.

  • 1
    Use Configuration Manager or the Services control panel applet to find out what the instance names are, and then use SSMS to connect to the 2012 instance.
    – Jon Seigel
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 17:49
  • @JonSeigel: I added a screenshot of what I'm getting from Configuration Manager. I'm perplexed...
    – MikeF
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 18:03
  • 2
    The screen shot never loaded for me, but if SELECT @@VERSION returns SQL Server 2005, you've connected to the wrong instance. Management Studio doesn't connect for you, it connects to the instance you tell it to. And you should be using the 2012 version of Management Studio if you plan to manage a 2012 Express instance. Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 18:09
  • @AaronBertrand: Sorry, this site didn't let me upload an image either. I think I got it. For some reason when I log in to SSMS it shows only MACHINENAME\SQLEXPRESS which defaults to 2005, but then I have to click browse and pick MACHINENAME which is 2012. Btw, is there any way to rename them?
    – MikeF
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 18:22
  • No, you can't rename an instance (though you should be able to connect to .\SQLEXPRESS and .). To rename an instance, you install a new one, move your databases and other settings over, and then remove the old one. Also SSMS only shows you instances you've connected to before. You can just type in a server instead of using browse if you've never connected to that instance before. Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 18:39

2 Answers 2


You can connect to multiple different versions of SQL Server at the same time with SSMS. The version all depends on which instance of SQL Server you connect to.

When you connect to a server you need to set the Server Name to the instance you want to use. You can either select it from the drop down and browse for the instance (which may take a while to populate) or type in the instance name.

Once the connection has been made @@VERSION will report the proper version number.


Microsoft SQL has several components. You can install SQL Studio (the GUI you're using), SQL Server itself (the actual database, to which SQL Studio can connect), Analysis Services, Reporting Services, and others.

You currently have a SQL 2005 server running, and you're connecting to it with SQL Studio 2012. That's OK! But if you'd rather have a SQL 2012 database on your local machine, you will need to run the SQL 2012 installation process again, and add that component. You may want to remove the 2005 installation first (backup your database first, of course).

If you've used WAMP or LAMP, what you have is equivalent to installing different versions of MySQL (the database) and PHPMyAdmin (the GUI). Or Oracle and Toad.

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