Connecting to a LocalDb instance from Visual Studio

May 1 2015

Visual Studio allows you to connect to a database server through the “Server Explorer” tab. However, I always forget how to connect to the LocalDb instance when I’m just prototyping in ASP.NET MVC. Here’s a small reminder.

Open the Server Explorer Tab

From within Visual Studio, click View -> Server Explorer or just Ctrl-Alt-s

Server explorer {: .center-block}

Pull up the add new connection modal

Click the little plug with a plus next to it to bring up the Add Connection modal

New database connection {: .center-block}


The server name drop down doesn’t usually display your local db instance, so typing is your best option. Put the following into your Server name text box:


New database connection {: .center-block}

Then choose your database and click Ok.

An elephant never forgets

This is annoying to remember, so take a quick glance at your web.config file and simply copy the (LocalDb)\V11.0 from your connectionString.