Hiding a SQL Server Instance !

Today I accidently came across the option called ‘Hide Instance’ flag for a SQL Instance.

This property looked pretty useful for me in case I don’t want anyone to browse for my SQL Instances easily.

There are many ways by which you can browse all the SQL Instances. One way is when using SSMS to connect to an Instance.

A look up on Network Servers will show you all the servers within the same domain. In this case we will concentrate in instance SQL2012A which runs SQL Server 2012 edition.

If you set the Hide Instance option as Yes for this instance, then that will prevent the SQL Server Browser service from exposing this instance of the Database Engine to client computers.


You will need to recycle the Engine services after setting this flag as True.

Once the service is recycled this takes into effect and the instance SQL2012A will no longer will be available for browse.


I have never seen this flag being set as a part of security best practices; however I would really focus on this point and will check with few SQL experts if they have similar experience.

Thanks for reading.


3 thoughts on “Hiding a SQL Server Instance !

  1. Interesting technique, that might even help your security. It might slow down hackers, or scare away scripters. Certainly “powerusers” that try to sniff your network for “interesting stuff and servers”. Nice short article showing a setting I never saw before. Compliments! 😉

    • Thank you for taking time to pass on your feedback,really happy about it.

      I actually did verified with some security experts and they confirmed that it might not potentially prevent a hacker as they have various ways,but it will really slow them down !

      As you said,Its really a good feature to hide key servers from users who are just interested to see what is around.

      Thanks again !

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