SSMS Server Settings

I think this has been discussed before on better blogs than mine, but it’s just so darn cool that I want to help spread the word.

In SSMS 2008, you can change the color of the status bar for servers. This gives you a nice visual reminder as to which server you’re currently connecting to. Since I’ve made the DEV/PROD mistake before, this is something I’m a big fan of.

So let’s walk through how you can set this up:

Opening a new connection

Opening a new connection

Click on Options >>

Connection Properties

Connection Properties

Select Use custom color and click on Select…

Pick a color

Pick a color

Choose the color you prefer, then click on OK

Open a new query

Open a new query

Click on Connect.

That’s all there is to it. Pretty easy, huh? Now let’s see what happens when we connect to multiple servers…

Multi-Server Rainbow

Multi-Server Rainbow

Beautiful! SSMS seems to remember the color settings too, so you should only have to set this up once.


If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to SSMS Server Settings

  1. onpnt says:

    This is a really cool option. It was one of the reasons I went to SSMS 2008 over 2005 even with 90% 2005 instances in the environment. You can do this from the registered servers view also. Pretty much the same place. Just right click the registered server–>properties and select the connection properties like the object explorer window.

  2. Mladen says:

    i found by using it that sometimes this coloring gets a bit flakey and doesn’t remember colors.

    here’s some shameless free stuff advertising 🙂
    that’s why i added this option to my free ssms add-in
    which adds this option even on ssms 2005.

    Hope it helps someone.

  3. Jerry Foster says:

    The coloring is cool, but only works by sessions triggered from Registered servers. In other words, if you use the New Query button, or if you use the Connect button on the Object Explorer, resultant windows will not have the corresponding colors.

    Another, more insidious, gotcha is if you Change Connection from an existing window. For instance, I have my development servers set to green, and my production servers set to red. If I change the connection to a production server in a window originally opened for a dev server, the color stays green. For this reason I have had to become disciplined to not use the Change Connection button/menu, and to only open new queries from Registered Servers (or from a server in the Object Explorer that was opened from a Registered Server).

  4. Mladen says:


    try my pack. it’s doens’t have that problem :))

    see that’s some more shamelss advertising :))

  5. Plug away, Mladen! Your tool pack is awesome, definitely plug-worthy, so shameless advertising is encouraged. 🙂

  6. Wocaa says:

    thanks! in 64-bit operating sytesm, the step 3 is worked, only C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\80\Tools\Binn\” is before: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn\”.but my pc is 32-bit, so C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\80\Tools\Binn\” is before: “C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn\”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *