SQL Server Management Studio 2005 is so slow that I often want to use something command-line just so I can move on with my life and quit waiting for the stupid GUI to load. Have you ever run an update command and have the entire window lock up on you while the query is executing? Those are scary moments right there. How can I speed up the management studio? Is there a "lightweight" alternative?

  • This might get more responses on serverfault.com or stackoverflow.com – Tom Robinson Nov 4 '09 at 15:05
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    It's just not a lightweight application, I'm afraid. I've experienced some of the troubles you're talking about, and I just broke down and got a faster machine. – Satanicpuppy Nov 4 '09 at 15:45

3 Questions for you:

  1. Is you machine a low end machine? If yes, upgrade. (May or may not be possible. But try to run Management Studio with minimum other apps running). (It works fine on my 2.45 GHz 845 Intel Chipset Motherboard with 1 GB RAM Machine)

  2. Are you connecting to a remote SQL Server? If yes check the network. Make sure that it is not clogged & is fast enough.

  3. Check if TCP/IP is enabled (From SQL Server Configuration Manager). Named Pipes are slow for remote connections (Even for local connections).

  • My machine is over 2 years old, I probably need a new one. Server is in the local network. Our network is not exactly fast either. – Josh Stodola Nov 4 '09 at 16:42
  • This means hardware + network may be the culprit. Try running Management Studio with minimum other apps around. If your PC is anyway sluggish, Fasten it up (Defragment it, clean the Temp folder, Move the page file to non OS Drive, Use Windows Classic Looks etc). For the network issue, try running heavy queries on the SQL Server machine itself if possible. Also check if TCP-IP is enabled & is the first option for network connections(in SQL Server). – Ganesh R. Nov 4 '09 at 17:03

You can install SQL Server Management Studio 2008 and still query SQL Server 2005 databases - might be worth a try? I've not had any of the problems you describe with either version though. Are you sure it's not an issue elsewhere?

You could also look at alternativeto.net (but it's currently down).

  • We are not going to upgrade. Upgrading from 2000 to 2005 made everything significantly slower. Why should we expect anything different from a newer version? – Josh Stodola Nov 4 '09 at 15:10
  • Using SQL Server Management Studio 2008 doesn't mean you have to upgrade the servers themselves. What did the 2000 to 2005 upgrade make slower? – Tom Robinson Nov 4 '09 at 15:28
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    "Why should we expect anything different from a newer version?" Because negative feedback like yours creates pressure to fix those problems, which means that your old version may have improvements in responsiveness that you're intentionally missing out on by not testing the newer version. – JMD Nov 4 '09 at 16:04
  • Well, to be frank, there is no chance of convincing my boss. I'm not even going to waste my time trying. – Josh Stodola Nov 4 '09 at 16:42
  • If you have an MSDN subscription you may already have SQL 2008 tools that you can use on your workstation to connect to your 2005 servers. – Chris W. Rea Nov 19 '09 at 16:03

I had the same issue with SSMS2k5.

I've switched from 'Tabbed documents' to 'MDI environment' in Tools-->Options-->Environment, and it works again well.

  • +1 WORKED. Thank you very much for the tip. This sped up the application significantly. It used to be sort of fast when I opened it, and it would slow down the more and more I used it. I did keep 4-5 tabs open, but more out of laziness. I like this option, and it's quite a bit faster. – Erick Robertson Feb 8 '11 at 12:43

You could try TOAD for SQL Server. However, I've only used TOAD for Oracle myself and the past few versions of that have been getting pretty bloated too!

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