We are running multiple versions of SQL Server Management Studio in our network, I believe from 2000 through 2017. For our security review we need to find out how to set an inactivity timeout in the SSMS application. Not a session timeout between SSMS & SQL Server but an inactivity timeout, and lock screen, for the GUI, if there is one. If there isn't one I need an explanation that I can give to our security folks that they will accept, preferably including a URL for the functionality. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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    This seems like a very strange requirement. I don't even know why this would exist in the first place. Don't most places just have inactivity timeouts on the operating systems that make you login again?
    – Philᵀᴹ
    May 13, 2019 at 15:43
  • Yes it sounds strange to us also but to have it signed off by security we are trying to find an authoritative source to say it is not part of the GUI and it is expected to be managed by the OS. BTW: Our MS Support contract expired and will not be renewed.
    – Herkimer
    May 13, 2019 at 16:20
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    Isn't this a job for the operating system rather than the application? May 13, 2019 at 18:26

1 Answer 1


So you want SSMS to lock after a timeout and require the user to unlock it before continuing. All other applications that are open, and access to the OS / desktop UI, remain unlocked?

There isn't such a thing. There never has been such a thing AFAIK. I've worked with SQL Server's GUI tools for near-enough twenty years and I've never seen, heard or read of such a feature. Indeed, I can't think of any Windows desktop applications which does that. (Web apps do it when the OAuth token expires, but that's a different technology.)

You're not going to find documentation that says this feature doesn't exist, either, for the same reason you won't find a URL that says SSMS doesn't make banana smoothies. Software publishers document what their product does do. Unless it's written as a "can" it's a "can't".

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