Automatic Updates for SQL Server Management Studio

By:   |   Comments (6)   |   Related: > SQL Server 2016


SQL Server Management Studio for SQL Server 2016 automatically checks for updates. But how does it work? Do the updates run without you noticing it or do you get the chance to choose whether to apply the update or not? Keep reading to learn more.


Every new version of SQL Server comes with a new version of SQL Server Management Studio that adds support for the new features. Although all releases of SQL Server have periodical updates that fix some issues during the software lifecycle in the form of Hotfixes, Cumulative Updates or Service Packs, those updates did not always cover SQL Server Management Studio.

If you think about it, there is something special with SQL Server Management Studio that made it difficult to provision the updates. SQL Server Management Studio is built on Visual Studio and has its own components like the SQL Server Native Client, ODBC drivers and has dependencies other than the SQL Server Engine. Fortunately for the SQL Server Community, Microsoft has made SQL Server Management Studio a product on its own and is providing updates directly for the product.

Anytime you start SQL Server Management Studio it automatically checks for updates, and when an update is available you will receive a notification like the one in the next image.

Notification of New Update.

When you click the notification you will be redirected to a web page where you can download the new version of the web installer and proceed to upgrade the application. But there is something to note; updates are not applied automatically, and you have the option to download the installer and go through the update process or wait for a newer version.

If you decide to apply the update and click the notification, your default web browser will open a web page ( where you can download the new version of the web installer.

You Can Download the New Version of the Web Installer Here.

Manually Checking For Updates

Also if you are impatient, SQL Server Management Studio allows you to manually check for updates by selecting the “Check for Updates…” option from the Tools menu.

New Check For Updates Option.

When you click on that option a window will pop up displaying the current version of SQL Server Management Studio components and the latest version available. If there is an update you will see an “Update” button that will redirect you to the SQL Server Management Studio Download Page.

New Check For Updates Option.

What is upgraded?

The list below shows eight components of SQL Server Management Studio that can be upgraded:

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2016 T-SQL ScriptDom
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2016 T-SQL Compiler Service
  • Microsoft Report Viewer for SQL Server 2016
  • Microsoft System CLR Types for SQL Server 2016
  • Microsoft ODBC Driver 11 for SQL Server
  • Microsoft SQL Server Data-Tier Application Framework (x86)
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Native Client
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Shell (Isolated)
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MSSQLTips author Daniel Farina Daniel Farina was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Self-educated, since childhood he showed a passion for learning.

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

Friday, June 16, 2023 - 1:53:56 PM - Travis Back To Top (91308)
Haha, I searched for a way to get automatic updates and was excited that somebody had come up with a way to do it!

But alas, this still requires opening web pages, downloading a brand new complete executable, and using a user account to install it. It's been several years—really surprised MS hasn't included an Updater utility directly in SSMS!

(Though I think most development effort these days may be focused on Azure Data Studio. Which has some awesome features (like JSON exports!), but is missing support for a lot of SQL Server functionality.)

Thursday, December 17, 2020 - 8:58:41 AM - Zach Back To Top (87927)
Thank you for the info. It's disappointing that I have to download the entire installer of 700 MB every time there's an update.

Thursday, April 4, 2019 - 12:03:24 AM - rajesh satapathy Back To Top (79459)

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\SQL Server Management Studio\14.0\UpdateChecker]

Sunday, September 16, 2018 - 8:51:49 AM - Keith Back To Top (77595)

Is it possible to suppress auto update? There are platforms where IT does not allow updates to be applied. It would be very nice not to have the constant distraction of automatic update checking and notification.

Friday, March 31, 2017 - 3:23:37 AM - chaitanya Back To Top (54002)

How to suppress this auto update in SSMS. Is there any parameter or any files that could suppress this auto update. 

Thank you in advance

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - 1:13:49 PM - Peter Back To Top (43537)

Any idea how I turn off this automatic checking, it's annoying.



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