Fix SQL Server Error 53: Could not open a connection on SQL Server

Today, I will explain how to fix SQL Server error 53 (The network path was not found). The details about SQL error 53 are given as “A network-related or instance specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (Provider: Named Pipes Provider, error: 40 – Could not open a connection on SQL Server) (Microsoft SQL Server, Error : 53)

SQL Server error 53

You can also get below error similar to error 53 under below details.

An error has occurred while establishing a connection to the server. When connecting to SQL Server, this failure may be caused by the fact that under the default settings SQL Server does not allow remote connections. (provider: Named Pipes Provider, error: 40 – Could not open a connection to SQL Server) (.Net SqlClient Data Provider)

Root Cause

Microsoft SQL Server Error 53 looks very much like the Error 40: A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server at first look. Like SQL Server error 40, here also SQL Server client cannot connect to the SQL Server Instance. This error could occur because either the client cannot resolve the name of the server or the name of the server is incorrect.

You might get this issue due to other reasons as well although main reason is the wrong server name or port name. I have given all those possible reasons behind the Microsoft SQL Server error 53 in below points.

  1. Wrong SQL Server Instance name while establishing database connection.
  2. Entering wrong port no can be one of the reason for SQL Server error 53.
  3. SQL Server Instance is not accessible due to firewall or any reason.
  4. Telnet port 1433 or port no on which SQL Server is running. These ports might be blocked.
  5. TCP/IP or Named Pipes protocol is disabled in SQL Server Configuration Manager.
  6. Remote Connection is disabled for this SQL Server Instance.
  7. SQL Server Browser service is stopped.

Solution

We need to check and validate multiple factors to rectify Microsoft SQL Server error 53. Check all factors given in below step by step points to fix all possibilities for this error.

  1. Sometimes, we enter wrong server details by mistake. Make sure to enter correct SQL Server instance name while making database connection otherwise you will face sql error 53.
  2. Try to connect using ip address and port number instead of putting server name in connection string.
  3. Make sure SQL Server services are running fine and its accessible.
  4. Check firewall details. Firewall should open between your client machine and database server. Port 1433 and 1434 should be enabled. Telnet both ports to make sure ports are open.
  5. Make sure to enable TCP/IP and Named Pipes. Launch SQL Server Configuration Manager. Expand SQL Server Network Configuration from left side pane and click on Protocols for MSSQLSERVER. MSSQLSERVER is SQL Server Instance name. Now you will see all protocols in to right side pane. Right click on given protocols and select Enable button to enable both protocols.
  6. Check TCP/IP name resolution, you can use the ping command in the Windows operating system. You can also right-click on TCP/IP and select Properties in SQL Server Configuration Manager. Verify that, under IP2, the IP Address is set to the computer’s IP address on the local subnet. Scroll down to IPAll. Make sure that TCP Dynamic Ports is blank. Make sure that TCP Port is set to 1433 or your identified port no.
  7. Remote connection must be enabled to connect to databases remotely. Connect to SQL Server Instance in SSMS. Right click on SQL Server instance name in SSMS and choose Properties. You will get Server properties window. Click on Connections from left side pane and tick the check box on Allow remote connections to this server option from right side pane.
  8. SQL browser service should not be stopped if your security policy allows it. If you have disabled this service to apply hardening then make sure to pass port no along with SQL Server instance name/IP while making database connection.

You can fix SQL error 53 by applying above solutions on your SQL Server instance. I hope you like this article. Please follow our Facebook page and Twitter handle to get latest updates.

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Manvendra Deo Singh

I am working as a Technical Architect in one of the top IT consulting firm. I have expertise on all versions of SQL Server since SQL Server 2000. I have lead multiple SQL Server projects like consolidation, upgrades, migrations, HA & DR. I love to share my knowledge. You can contact me on my social accounts for any consulting work.
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Summary
Fix Error 53: Could not open a connection on SQL Server
Article Name
Fix Error 53: Could not open a connection on SQL Server
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Read this article if you are getting error 53 while connecting to SQL Server. Error details are "A network-related or instance specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (Provider: Named Pipes Provider, error: 40 - Could not open a connection on SQL Server) (Microsoft SQL Server, Error : 53)"
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