Enabling IntelliSense and Refreshing IntelliSense Data in SSMS 2008

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There may be times when IntelliSense in SQL Server Management Studio 2008 is not working or does not display the latest schema changes. To resolve these issues you can follow the below solution.


One of the new features of SSMS 2008 is IntelliSense. IntelliSense is a feature which reads internal metadata and provides a list of available objects and properties while you are writing T-SQL. Sometimes IntelliSense does not work when using SQL Server Management Studio 2008. To fix this you can follow the below steps.

Step 1: Go to Tools > Options > Text Editor > Transact-SQL > IntelliSense and make sure the Enable IntelliSense checkbox is checked

resoloving issues when intellisense in ssms 2008 is not working

Step 2: To verify that it is enabled, go to the Query menu and check that IntelliSense is enabled as shown below.

make sure the enable intellisense checkbox is checked

Step 3: If you are unable to see the IntelliSense for the latest schema changes then from a query window, go to Edit -> IntelliSense -> Refresh Local Cache. You can also use the Ctrl + Shift + R shortcut to refresh the cache.

edit intellisense if you are unable to see the intellisense for the latest schema changes

Next Steps
  • Use this tip to refresh the IntelliSense data for newly created objects
  • Remember you can use the CTRL + SHIFT + R shortcut when you change database objects
  • Note: IntelliSense does not work for earlier versions of SQL Server prior to SQL Server 2008

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About the author
MSSQLTips author Jugal Shah Jugal Shah has 8+ years of extensive SQL Server experience and has worked on SQL Server 2000, 2005, 2008 and 2008 R2.

This author pledges the content of this article is based on professional experience and not AI generated.

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Comments For This Article

Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - 11:57:09 AM - Alejandro Piņon Back To Top (40296)

Does Intellisense MSSQL2008 work in Management Studio 2014? 


Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 12:27:33 PM - Barry Seymour Back To Top (28094)

I am stuck using SQL 2005 but I like SSMS 2008, so I use the free add on dbForge SQLComplete from DevArt. The free express version provides excellent Intellisense. Go to http://www.devart.com/dbforge/sql/sqlcomplete/ and click the 'Free Edition' tab at the bottom. Very, very nice.



Friday, March 1, 2013 - 9:24:57 AM - Asser Back To Top (22503)


I'm using SQL Server 2008 R2, intellisense was working fine before I installed Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

After the install, it stopped working. I followed the steps as indicated above it still doesn't work. sigh!


Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 6:21:37 AM - srujana Back To Top (22334)

I did all the settings mentioned above still It is not working. I am using SQL server 2008 R2.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 5:21:14 PM - Jugal Back To Top (19496)

Hi Ram,

I hope you are not connecting the SQL Server 2005 or any other lower versions from the SSMS 2008, if so intellisense will not work with lower versions. 

Please follow the steps mentioned above and restart the SSMS, you can even use CTRL + SHIFT + R shortcut whenever you add new object to database.



Jugal Shah


Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 5:54:47 AM - Ram Back To Top (19483)


  i am using sql server 2008 R2 but still intellisense is not working i am enable all tools which is you show above..

 autocomplete intelllisense is not working ...

 like  write query

"select * from users"  then table name comes on list... but it is not occur..

please give me suggation

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 4:12:35 AM - Nageswar Back To Top (16370)

Download and install
Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 R2 Service Pack 1

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - 8:06:16 PM - Hila DG Back To Top (16220)

Brilliant! Thanks!

I've been looking for this tip all over the place!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - 2:02:47 AM - Jugal Shah Back To Top (12781)

Yes Vikash, It will not support to SQL Server 2005.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - 1:36:11 AM - Vikash Kumar Singh Back To Top (12780)

Nice tip..Thanks a lot...I do not have a SQL Server 2005 but are you sure it does not work with SQL Sever 20005(as mentioned in your tips that it works with SQL Server 2008 and later version?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011 - 10:21:58 AM - Jugal Shah Back To Top (12772)

Thanks Armando

Tuesday, February 1, 2011 - 9:40:10 AM - Armando Prato Back To Top (12771)

Thanks for the tip!  I've just started in SQL 2008 and I've been lazy about figuring out the Intellisense features.

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