When I am running:

enter image description here

Ctrl+Alt+R will run the web browser in an SSMS tab. However, this now produces the message:

enter image description here

I do have MS Edge installed but SSMS is not finding it. What should I do to help SSMS find MS Edge and use it?

Posted bug report: SSMS 18.10 integrated web browser lacks support for Microsoft Edge

Note that this also affects the Technical Support menu item under the Help menu. enter image description here

This option launches the integrated web browser and does not render the page properly

  • The problem I'm trying to overcome is that the integrated web browser doesn't work properly. There is no underlying or secondary problem. Obviously I can use an external browser for anything for which I could use the internal browser (and much more, naturally). @Amtwo's response is likely correct, though perhaps not authoritative. Feb 15, 2022 at 16:39
  • 1
    Authoritative would be a note on the page that describes the feature that stipulates that the browser choice is fixed and cannot be changed or, even better, a bug report accepted for remediation. Microsoft does document various limitations and I think this would fall under that category. Feb 16, 2022 at 14:07
  • I greatly expanded on the answer, including additional information on when SSMS uses the embedded IE browser, and when SSMS launches your default browser, as well as workaround to launch an arbitrary application, such as Edge, from a keystroke or menu command, similar to the way the embedded IE browser works, since you cannot change the rendering engine used by the embedded browser.
    – AMtwo
    Feb 16, 2022 at 20:28
  • I posted a link to the bug report and some more info Feb 17, 2022 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


You Can't

SSMS has an integrated web browser, but it's not really much more than a novelty. It's not meant to be a full web browser.

SSMS has an embedded Internet Explorer-based browser window. But it's just IE, without any possibility of changing it to use a different browser engine.

The full text of the documentation as of February 2022 is:

SQL Server Management Studio hosts a version of Microsoft Internet Explorer. This Web browser allows you to browse URLs, and view MSDN Library help topics without leaving SQL Server Management Studio. You can access the Web browser by pointing to Web Browser on the View menu, and then clicking Show Browser.

There are no configurations or advanced options of any sort related to this embedded IE browser.

SSMS & Web browsers

I've noticed SSMS is a little inconsistent with how it opens URLS.

  • You can use CTRL+ALT+R (Or View-->Other Windows-->Web Browser) to just open the embedded IE browser directly.
  • If your query window has a URL in it, and you CTRL+click on the URL, it will open that URL in your default browser.
  • If you use F1 (Or Help-->View Help), it will open the SSMS documentation in your default browser
  • If you use Help-->Technical Support, it will open the SQL Feedback URL in the embedded IE browser.

If you do want to open another browser directly...

You can set up any external application to open from SSMS. As an example, I'll set up Edge to open from SSMS, and configure it to open my blog: am2.co. You can change the Title & am2.co to reflect your preference for labels & start pages. You can even omit the URL/address entirely, and let the browser do it's own thing.

  1. From the Tools menu, select External Tools...
  2. In the pop-up that opens, fill in the following fields:
    • Title: AM2.co
    • Command: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Edge\Application\msedge.exe
    • Arguments: am2.co --profile-directory=Default
    • Initial Directory: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Edge\Application"
    • I also un-checked "Close on exit" so that my browser stays open even after I close SSMS.
    • Click OK to save & close.
  3. On the Tools menu, you'll now see an option for AM2.co, and selecting it will open Edge to that site.

Tools menu showing AM2.co option highlighted

  1. If you want to assign a keyboard shortcut to the external tool shortcut we just configured
    • From the Tools menu, select Options.
    • On the Options window, in the left navigation bar, select Environment-->Keyboard-->Keyboard
    • On the Keyboard Options, find Tools.ExternalCommand1 & select it. Note that there are up to 24 configurable external tools commands, each with their own option here.
    • Place your cursor in the Press shortcut keys box, and type whatever keystrokes you wish to assign. I chose Alt + Shift + F1.
    • Click the Assign button to save.
    • Click the OK button to close the Options window.
  2. Now I can hit Alt + Shift + F1 and an Edge window will open to am2.co. Additionally, the selected keystrokes will appear as a tip in the menu, like other keystroke shortcuts.

Tools menu showing AM2.co option highlighted, and ALT+SHIFT+F1 as a shortcut

You can then repeat these steps with any web browser, any "start" URL, and any keyboard shortcut (you can even "steal" Ctrl+Alt+R from the built-in IE browser). Unfortunately, this will not replace or integrate with the built-in browser functions in any way; F1 or CTRL+click will still open in your default browser, and the embedded browser will still use IE.

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