The Debug button is present on this version of SSMS: enter image description here

But it is not present on version 18, preview 4: enter image description here

I have tried in several ways to add the Debug button to my SSMS but not successful.

Is there a way to add the Debug button to SSMS v18?


2 Answers 2


Debugger is deprecated in SSMS18 as @LowlyDBA said in his answer.

For those who look for an alternative, you can use SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT)/Visual Studio to debug a query.

  1. Connect to a SQL server (in Tools menu)
  2. Open a new query (Server explorer, right click, new query)
  3. Type in your query
  4. Execute with Debugger

From the SQL menu

SQL - Main Menu

From the Drop down list next to the execute icon in the query window

DropDown next to the Execute icon in the query window

From the context menu in the query window

Context menu in a query window

  • 10
    Why do Microsoft removes standar functionality in tools? Do they hate us? Oct 26, 2022 at 16:56
  • FYI, VS 2022 no longer works for debugging SPs. Not sure what Microsoft broke with one of their VS updates, but we can't debug now. When I open one of my Stored Procedures and then try "Execute with Debugger" I just get a spinning wheel and nothing happens ... in fact, I have to force VS 2022 to shutdown via TaskMgr. Microsoft not only removed something that was working fine, then replaced it with something that doesn't work. Nov 17, 2022 at 19:07
  • 2
    @RobAinscough perhaps it was a bug you encounter which has since been fixed but I've not experienced this myself. Debugging stored procedures is working in VS2022 version 17.4.4.
    – cognophile
    Feb 1, 2023 at 16:42
  • 1
    @cognophile you're correct ... my computer seemed to have been corrupted (domain accounts were all messed also) after I upgraded from Win10 install to Win11 install. My solution was to wipe my PC and stay with Win10 (for now) ... debugging seems to be working now. Mar 1, 2023 at 22:58

This feature is deprecated in SSMS 18 and thus no longer available.

Database diagrams were removed in SSMS 18 but have been re-added as of version 18.1


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