Service Account Types Supported for SQL Server Agent
Microsoft Windows accounts that are supported to run the SQL Server Agent service are listed in the following table. Use SQL Server Configuration Manager to set the service account for SQL Server Agent. For more information, see How to: Set the Service Startup Account for SQL Server Agent (SQL Server Configuration Manager).
The following table lists the Windows account types that can be used for the SQL Server Agent service.
Service account type
Domain controller (non-clustered)
Microsoft Windows domain account (member of Windows Administrators group)
Windows domain account (non-administrative)
Network Service account (NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService)
Supported1, 3, 4
Local user account (non-administrative)
Local System account (NT AUTHORITY\System)
Local Service account (NT AUTHORITY\LocalService)
1 See Limitation 1 below.
2 See Limitation 2 below.
3 See Limitation 3 below.
4 See Limitation 4 below.
Limitation 1: Using Non-administrative Accounts for Multiserver Administration
Enlisting target servers to a master server may fail with the following error message: "The enlist operation failed."
To resolve this error, restart both the SQL Server and the SQL Server Agent services. For more information, see How to: Restart an Instance of SQL Server (SQL Server Management Studio) and How to: Restart the SQL Server Agent Service (SQL Server Management Studio).
Limitation 2: Using the Local System Account for Multiserver Administration
Multiserver administration is supported when the SQL Server Agent service is run under the Local System account only when both the master server and the target server reside on the same computer. If you use this configuration, the following message is returned when you enlist target servers to the master server:
"Ensure the agent start-up account for <target_server_computer_name> has rights to log on as targetServer."
You can ignore this informational message. The enlistment operation should complete successfully. For more information, see Creating a Multiserver Environment.
Limitation 3: Using the Network Service Account When It Is a SQL Server User
SQL Server Agent may fail to start if you run the SQL Server Agent service under the Network Service account, and the Network Service account has been explicitly granted access to log into a SQL Server instance as a SQL Server user.
To resolve this, reboot the computer where SQL Server is running. This only needs to be done once.
Limitation 4: Using the Network Service Account When SQL Server Reporting Services Is Running on the Same Computer
SQL Server Agent may fail to start if you run the SQL Server Agent service under the Network Service account and Reporting Services is also running on the same computer.
To resolve this, reboot the computer where SQL Server is running, and then restart both the SQL Server and the SQL Server Agent services. This only needs to be done once.