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Fix SQL Error 26 & Easily Resolve SQL Network Interfaces Error 26

Published By Aswin Vijayan
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On October 4th, 2023
Reading Time 7 Minutes Reading
Category SQL Server
SQL Server error 26

Getting a “SQL Network Interfaces, error: 26 – Error Locating Server/Instance Specified” error is quite common among SQL Server users. Not only this SQL error 26 in system, but there are plenty of other errors present that hamper the usual work of DBAs. Now, in order to fix such errors, users must understand the causes, troubleshooting tips, & the solutions as well. This aricle is aiming to cover all these topics in detail for users.

SQL Server error 26

Now, as as seen in the above mentioned image, this error 26 in SQL Server occurs when the user tries to connect with the SQL Server named instance & fails in it. Diving deeper, we can say that when the users’ server fails to catch the SSRP response UPD packet from SQL Browser, it starts showing the error.

Let’s move further to understand the solutions:

SQL Server Error 26 User Queries

Before we move further & start with the solution, user query analysis always helps in knowing the requirements of user. Also, it shows different perspectives of the same problem.

It’s been over a month now that I’m unable to establish the connection with my SQL Server database. I don’t know the root cause but  it shows some error and the number is always just 26. Please help me get the ideal solution that can fix the problem fast & without data loss.
– Vineet Patel, USA

Hey there, I’m a system admin of SQL Server in an MNC company. I recent started getting the SQL error 26 in my system. I know some manual troubleshooting tips but tehy didn’t worked. Is there any sure shot solution available for the same? If yes, then please help me.
– James Clack, Australia

Based on the user queries, let’s go provide them with the solution, troubleshooting methods, & a genuine recommendation of the right solution.

Also Read: How to Open & Check SQL Server Error Log File?

SQL Network Interfaces Error 26 Critical Causes

This is a common error message with a indication that a client cannot establish a connection to the SQL Server. The full error message typically looks like this:

Error: 26 - Error Locating Server/Instance Specified

There is not a fixed reason for it but multiple causes. Let’s go through them one after another below:

  • Incorrect Server/Instance Name: There are chances that the connection string is false that is in process to connect with the SQL Server. Cross-cheking the credentials like server & instance name is helpful.
  • SQL Server Service Not Running: Check if the SQL Server service is running on the specified server or not. Make sure that the service is in running mode.
  • Firewall Blocking the Connection: The connection between the SQL Server & client also receives interruption because of firewalls or other network security settings. Turn off such settings & fix SQL error 26 easily.
  • SQL Server Configuration: In case the dynamic ports usage is configured & the client fails to navigate with the correct port for establishing connection, use the SQL Server browser service to counter dynamic port.
  • Named Pipes/TCP Disabled: There are situation when the Client tries to connect with protocols that are not in sync with the Named Pipes or TCP/IP. It results in failure & by keeping the protocols enables on both ends, users can fix this issue.
  • Incorrect Authentication Details: Make sure to always double check the authentication details as the wrong or mismatched details will result in failure.
  • Server Unreachable: Network errors, are quite common that causes server down-time, & other issues for failure in connection.
  • SQL Server Database Corruption: Not directly but SQL Server database corruption also affects the connection in some cases. Therefore, make sure your database files are free from all kinds of corruption issues.

Troubleshoot Error 26 with Basic Tips

Go through these measures to troubleshoot this critical error:

  • Cross-check the connection string and make sure it has the right server and instance name, username, and password along with other details.
  • To counter SQL Server error 26, always verify if the service of SQL Server is running on the server & it’s not hampered by any factor.
  • Allow the incoming connections on the SQL Server port (default is 1433 for TCP/IP connections) through the server’s firewall.
  • Switch to a fixed port or use the SQL Server Browser service to fix SQL network interfaces error 26 safely if using dynamic ports.
  • Do not forget to enable the ports (Named Pipes, TCP/IP) on both the server and client sides to remove barriers.
  • Always do check for any sort of network-related issues or server unavailability. Also, fix them if found asap.

Automated Solution to Fix SQL Error 26 Without Hassles

Now that user are aware of all the troubleshooting tips, its time to focus on the final database corruption issue. Using an automated solution like SysTools SQL Server RecoveryTool can help users to get the desired results without any hassles. 

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The software is equipped with state of the art algorithms that are advanced enough to fix all corruption issues & recover the database with quickly. Follow the below mentioned step by step solution to counter SQL Server error 26 & repair SQL database corruption with ease.

Step-1. Launch Software & Click on the Open button to add database file.

start solving SQL error 26

Step-2. Select the Quick or Advanced Scan mode to further continue.

select scan mode

Step-3. After scanning the files, Preview them to cross check all data. 

preview files

Step-4. Enter the Destination path to export healthy database files.

Enter destination

Step-5. Press the Export button to complete the repair process.

Hit export to fix SQL error 26

Also Read: Best & Top 5 SQL Recovery Tools In Budget

Manually Resolve Error 26 in SQL Server

To resolve the SQL network interfaces error 26, users need to build an incoming rule. Users must note that this rule should be allowing the traffic from eligible IP addresses(configured for the failover cluster instance & IP addresses of the remote server).

Go through the detailed steps mentioned below to counter this error 26 SQL Server and establish the connection within the network without hassles.

Step 1. Open the Administrative Tools from the Control Panel to begin.

Step 2. Hit the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security button to continue.

Step 3. Select the Inbound Rule option and Click on the New Rule button here.

click on new rule

Step 4. Under the New Inbound Rule Wizard prompt screen, Choose Custom & Hit the Next button.

select custom

Step 5. Click on the All Program button & Hit the Next button.

click all programs

Step 6. Set Any in Protocol Type List & Hit the Next button.

select any

Step 7. Set These IP Address & Hit the Add button.

select these IP addresses

Step 8. Enter the IP Adress & Click on the OK button.

enter IP address

Step 9. Click on Allow the Connection button & Hit Next.

Hit next button

Step 10. Hit the Next button & set the Outbound Rule Wizard settings.

Also Read: Fix SQL Server Recovery Pending State Error with Ease


Now, that we have covered almost all the crucial topics of this blog, it’s time to wrap up this article. While bringing it all together, we know how to resolve SQL error 26 using various methods & tactics. The most crucial element to focus on is the causes.

If we know the root cause, it’s always easy to fix errors like SQL network interfaces error 26 & easily & safeguard our database. If there’s any doubt remains, users can ask the contact & support team.