There are several ways to use a Dark Theme on SSMS main coding window, either importing a vsettings file, applying Dark Theme that is disabled on a config file or doing it manually. But all those options do not affect Grid Results, Object Explorer and other windows. Those 2 are the main ones I use other than the coding one.

I tried the usual Tools>Options>Environment>Fonts and Colors then selected on the combo box Show settings for: the option Grid Results and using White for Item Foreground and Black for Item Background. Saved, restarted SSMS but just the text is white, background is still white.

Any idea on what is happening or how to do it? I can't find how to do it for the Object Explorer.

SSMS Fonts and Colors configuration


3 Answers 3


These options are ignored as of SQL Server 2005 SP2 and still not fixed.

See the relevant connect item: SP2: Results Grid Background color property ignored by Management Studio. archive link

The status is closed as fixed, but only because it's been converted into an internal issue

Thanks for this feedback. I have converted this request to either a defect (something is broken) or a Design Change Request (something new to add to the product) and so I'll close this ticket out. We will consider your information for SQL Server 2008 or a subsequent release. Thanks!
- Buck Woody, SQL Server Program Manager

There is a second connect item: SSMS 2012 Grid Results background color does not work (unfortunately not archived) which is closed as wontfix.

Hello Chris. Thanks for the feedback. We triaged this issue and at this time do not plan to address this in a future version of SQL Server.
-Walter A Jokiel, Program Manager, SQL Server (wajokiel@microsoft.com)

There is however one user commenting

I found the answer! This is actually controlled by the tooltip color you set up in your windows environment. Man, That was a PAIN to find!

But unless that works I fear you are out of luck

  • 1
    OK, at least now I know that problem was already known. Searched a bit more and that solution about the windows environment the issue is that it affects ALL windows on ALL applications, not just SSMS, so is a no go.
    – Yaroslav
    Aug 8, 2017 at 22:00

Visual Studio 2017 has Dark theme and supports SQL queries. Results are shown in white text on black background (except for the heading line, which is black text on white background).


The issue has been fixed in SQL Server Management Studio 18. I've downloaded it and I am able to change the grid results colors :)

  • 2
    Hello, @Master. Welcome to Database Administrators. It would be nice if you added the reference link with the information of the fixed feature and/or download link. It would make your answer more relevant and avoid people downvoting your post.
    – Ronaldo
    Nov 28, 2019 at 14:24

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