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Powerbi and SQL Express giving unable to connect



When I run power bi get data im getting the follow error:


"Unable to connect

We encountered an error while tryig to connect


Details: "Microsoft SQL: A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provider: Named Pipes Provider, error: 40 - Could not open a connection to SQL Server)""


The database I'm connecting to is a SQLEXPRESS and I've used the connect <servername>\SQLEXPRESS.   I can connect to a SQL server 2012 without issue.  I just cant connect to SQL Express.  Any advice welcome 



Microsoft Employee
Microsoft Employee

Hi @alexkelly101757,


Are you able to connect from other tools, such as Access or SSMS (installed locally using the same credentials)? Have you tried connecting using IP address instead of name, or specifying the database name vs. leaving it blank? 


Please follow the article below to troubleshoot this connection error.

Troubleshoot Connecting to the SQL Server Database Engine

Exception: A network-related or instance-specific error while establishing a connection to SQL Serve...



Yuliana Gu

Community Support Team _ Yuliana Gu
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.

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