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

  • 7
    I think the deprecation is a step backward and MS should bring it back. There's a feature request to bring it back, please vote (the feature not this post :) if you think it will be helpful feedback.azure.com/forums/908035-sql-server/suggestions/…
    – LeonardoX
    Apr 10, 2021 at 11:54
  • 1
    Such an amazingly stupid regression. Absolute amateur hour as clowns are being let loose on an enterprise product. No understanding of who uses their products and why.
    – Shiv
    May 6, 2021 at 23:40
  • 3
    I agree with all the annoyed people here -- it's a fantastically dumb (and arrogant) decision by Microsoft to separate the debugger from the IDE in which most database programmers develop. That being said, you can still install and use SSMS 17.91 (which still includes the debugger) side-by-side with the new version. That's what I have ended up doing in all the environments I develop in.
    – Curt
    Oct 14, 2021 at 0:03

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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