Download SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)

Learn to download and install SQL Server Management Studio.

SQL Server Management Studio

SQL Server Management Studio (SMSS) is Microsoft’s interface for interacting with SQL databases. It’s free and is an excellent tool for learning and managing database servers.

As of May 2023, Microsoft has versions 18.11 and up. Link to the old and latest versions are available, plus 16.5.3 and 18.8. However, there’s no reason not to try the latest, as Microsoft keeps adding more features/enhancements to the later versions.

Simply click to download the preferred version.

With previous versions, we use the pane on the right side of the browser to cycle through the versions and choose the one we like.

Once it has downloaded, we go ahead and run the installer. Both versions run through the standard installation process. So we can keep the default settings and let it perform the installation. After it’s finished, we are almost ready to connect!

Starting the Database Engine services

After installing the instance, it’s time to log in.

The first step is checking to ensure the database service is running. This service is under the list of specific services running under the Windows OS. There are a few ways we can locate the service:

  1. Hold the “Windows” key and press the “R” on the keyboard to bring up the “Run” command. Once it comes up, we enter “services.msc” to bring up the list of services.

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