Understanding "login failed" (Error 18456) error messages in SQL Server 2005

Understanding "login failed" (Error 18456) error messages in SQL Server 2005

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In continuing with the theme of understanding error messages I'll discuss the "login failed" messages that are surfaced by the client and written to the server's error log (if the auditlevel is set to log failures on login which is the default) in the event of an error during the login process.

If the server encounters an error that prevents a login from succeeding, the client will display the following error mesage.

Msg 18456, Level 14, State 1, Server <server name>, Line 1
Login failed for user '<user name>'

Note that the message is kept fairly nondescript to prevent information disclosure to unauthenticated clients.   In particular, the 'State' will always be shown to be '1' regardless of the nature of the problem.  To determine the true reason for the failure, the administrator can look in the server's error log where a corresponding entry will be written.  An example of an entry is:

2006-02-27 00:02:00.34 Logon     Error: 18456, Severity: 14, State: 8.

2006-02-27 00:02:00.34 Logon     Login failed for user '<user name>'. [CLIENT: <ip address>]

The key to the message is the 'State' which the server will accurately set to reflect the source of the problem.  In the example above, State 8 indicates that the authentication failed because the user provided an incorrect password.  The common error states and their descriptions are provided in the following table:



2 and 5

Invalid userid


Attempt to use a Windows login name with SQL Authentication


Login disabled and password mismatch


Password mismatch


Invalid password

11 and 12

Valid login but server access failure


SQL Server service paused


Change password required

Other error states indicate an internal error and may require assistance from CSS.
Il-Sung Lee
Program Manager, SQL Server Protocols

Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

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  • Please add 5 and 3 and type the answer here:
  • Post
  • Error: 18456, Severity: 14, State: 1.


  • i am having this problem with sql server 2005 in the first example of c#:

    Error: 18456, Severity: 14, State: 16.

    What should I do?

    my email   rs007202@gmail.com

  • Login failed for user 'Kunal-PC\Kunal'. (.Net SqlClient Data Provider)

    what can i do?

    my email:prajapati.kunal3@gmail.com


  • error: 18456, state 1??????????????

  • SQL server error: 18456 overview - This error occurs when your authentication request is been successfully accepted by SQL server named, but due to some reason SQL server is not able to grant the access to connect.

    For more detail check here -


  • Hello,

    TITLE: Connect to Server


    Cannot connect to PC.



    Login failed for user 'sa'. (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 18456)

    For help, click: go.microsoft.com/fwlink

  • I need to know what I should do about my log_in failure. I turn on computer, login page appears. I hae to people: Elaine and Jo E. I cannot remember my password to the Jo E. account because I have been ill and just forgot it. But it is the Administrators account. It is very disabling to my ability to use computer. Thank you for your attention.  Elaine Alsup

  • i use sql2012

    i have this error 18456

    Error Number: 18456

    Severity: 14

    State: 1

    Line Number: 65536

    help me?

  • I have exactly the same problem using SQL Server 2005.

    email me -braviear@gmail.com

  • Error: 18456, Severity: 14, State: 1

    Solution for me: Log off from the session and do a fresh logon to the (remote) system. looks like somekind of corruption of the SQL Server Management studio.

  • logon is an invalid event type error occurred in sql server 2005

  • I think these step below will help you:

    1. Open Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio.

    2. Login with Window Authentication user

    3. Right click Database server --> chose Properties

    4. Click Security --> Server authentication --> change to "SQL Server and Windows Authentication mode"

    5. Click OK --> restart services.


    Hope helpful.

  • Check if your SQL server is configured to windows and SQL authentication mode.

  • "Error Number: 18456"

    "Severity: 14"

    "State: 1"

    "Line Number: 65536"

    I am having the same problem. I tried to login both Authentications, got the same problem pls help me vijaydba2@gmail.com

  • send solution to 18456 and invalid password send solution thankyou

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