I recently installed SQL Server 2012. Due to some issue, the databases services did not install successfully, but Management Studio did, which was OK to start with, as I usually access remote servers.

I imported my groups of servers and worked happily.

Yesterday, I restarted my PC, and lo and behold, the list of groups and server is not there at all - all I have is an empty Object Explorer without any way to access my saved server and connect. See Screenshot below.

Through File > Connect Object Explorer I get the dialog where I can open what is listed there but that's a pain, as I had many servers listed there and it was very user-friednly to have them listed and grouped nicely.

So my question is how can I get them listed there again.


enter image description here


1 Answer 1


The list you're talking about wouldn't be present in Object Explorer (unless you connected to all of them manually every time you started Management Studio). Your active connections will disappear from Object Explorer when you close down SSMS or reboot, so you can't persist them there (as convenient as that might be).

What you might be talking about, though, is Registered Servers, which you might have inadvertently closed before closing SSMS last (it should pop up again if it was active when you shut down SSMS or rebooted). If it's missing, no problem, you can restore this panel using View > Registered Servers or through the key combination Ctrl+Alt+G.

If your servers still don't show up there, it's possible that you lost your registered server configuration due to a roaming profile, logging in as a different user, or messing with SqlStudio.bin.

  • How do I have the "Local Server Groups" section in "Registered Servers" expanded by default when I start ssms? I have to expand them manually every time. Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 12:24
  • @AndersLindén I don't know that there's any way to do that, aside from filing a feature request on Connect, or just not closing and re-opening SSMS so often (also a solution for slow app startup). Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 13:25

Your Answer

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

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