SQL Server Error 18456

All topics about maintaining SQL Server from a DBA perspective.
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Laura1996
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:41 pm

Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:05 pm

The SQL Server database is a Relational Database Management System, which is used in across the globe. And just because SQL is used so widely doesn't mean it is immune to errors. A common error faced while logging into the SQL server is error 18456 and this is the error message that is displayed on the screen -

Login failed for user. The user is not associated with a trusted SQL Server connection.

When users try to connect to the SQL Server through the login authentication system, instead of granting access to the user, the server throws error 18456. Sometimes the error also says that it is state 1, which is almost the same as the main error because all the other variations of the error 18456 are converted into state 1 error because of security reasons.

As you can see, Microsoft isn't as helpful when it comes to providing details about error messages.

Reasons behind SQL Server error 18456

Authentication issue: First login from the new system can also be the reason of this error. The good part is - it is nothing major. The error is being thrown because the server is set to Windows Authentication mode. Change the mode and try logging in again. The error should be resolved

Wrong credentials: This is probably the most common reason for error 18456 and yet, we like to focus on the minute details. Check if your credentials are right. If you are logging in for the first time, make sure you received the right credentials from the administrator.

UserID disabled: If the UserID hasn't been granted access to the SQL Server then this error will be thrown. Again, if you are trying to login for the first time, we would recommend contacting the administrator to make sure that your UserID has been granted access.

Different states of the error: As we mentioned there are different states of the error and once you know what the different states mean, it is easier to resolve the problem:
If the error state is 2 or 5 then that means the UserID is invalid and you need to check that.
Error State 6 means the user is trying to use a Windows Login name for SQL authentication which the server is not able to understand.
An error state of 7 means that either the login has been disabled or there is a password mismatch
Error state 8 means there is a password mismatch
Error state 9 implies invalid password
Error state 11 and 12 means the login details are correct but there is a server access failure.
Error state 13 implies the SQL server has been paused
Error state 18 means the password has expired and it needs to change
If the error state is something else than this, then it is probably an internal error and before doing anything you should contact your administrator.

Final Words: SQL Server 18456 error is a login error which can be easily resolved by a few troubleshooting steps. Most of the times, the issues can be resolved instantly. Make sure to always cross check your credentials before doing anything else.
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