In this article I will explain the process of downloading and installing the Microsoft’s free Northwind sample database in three easy and simple steps
 
Step 1: Download the Microsoft’s free sample Northwind database
In order to download the Microsoft’s free sample Northwind database, you will need to visit the following URL.
On the page you will find the download button as shown in the following screenshot.
Downloading the Microsoft's Sample Northwind database
 
 
Step 2: Installing Microsoft’s free sample Northwind database
A Setup file (.MSI) will be downloaded. You can save it on your desktop as you’ll need to execute it once download is complete.
As soon as the file download is completed, you can start the installation by Double Clicking the Setup file or by doing Right Click and then clicking the Install Option from the Context Menu.
Installing the Microsoft's Sample Northwind database Setup file

Once the installation is completed you can check the installed database files in the following location, and you will find the Northwind Database in the Installation Folder.
Installed files after the installation is completed.

 
Step 3: Attaching the Northwind MDF file to SQL Server Database using Management Studio
Now you need to start the SQL Server Management Studio and then Right Click the Databases folder from the Object Explorer. In the Context Menu click on the Attach option as shown below
Attaching the Microsoft's Sample Northwind database from SQL Server Management Studio Object Explorer

This option will open up a File Browser within SQL Server and you need to navigate and select the NORTHWIND.MDF file and press OK button.
Locating the NORTHWIND.MDF file and attaching it from the SQL Server Management Studio file explorer
 
That’s it you will see that the database is now available in your SQL Server along with the other databases.
Northwind Database attached in the list of databases in Object explorer of the SQL Server Management Studio