I need to create a database offline with no internet access preferably.

I've used SQL Server Management studio online plenty however I haven't done it locally without internet access.

And can it be the Developer option?

I have it installed but it won't connect. I'm able to find Learning services offline information however I'm not sure if that is what I'm looking for.

A document if there is one would be great. To clarify, not server but SQL Server Management Studio for database creation and queries, etc.

Thanks in advance. I apologize if this is a simple question but I've forgotten and or am unsure if there's a way to do it.

  • SQL Server LocalDB is your friend. Or use Developer edition, both of these are free. Any edition works fine locally though. You should be able to connect by using YourMachineName as the server Sep 28, 2022 at 10:36

1 Answer 1


SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is not a Relational DataBase Management System (RDBMS), it is only the tool to access an existing RDBMS.

You have to have an RDBMS installed in order to be able to create database, tables, and other database objects.

Once you have an RDBMS locally installed, which requires no internet connection whatsoever, then you can use SSMS to perform the required tasks.

Possible RDBMS products which will satisfy your needs are:

  • SQL Server 20xx Express Edition

    • free
    • certain limitations regarding size of database
    • contains SQL Server LocalDB

      LocalDB installation copies a minimal set of files necessary to start the SQL Server Database Engine. Once LocalDB is installed, you can initiate a connection using a special connection string. When connecting, the necessary SQL Server infrastructure is automatically created and started, enabling the application to use the database without complex configuration tasks. Developer Tools can provide developers with a SQL Server Database Engine that lets them write and test Transact-SQL code without having to manage a full server instance of SQL Server.

  • SQL Server 20xx Developer Edition

    • no productive data permitted
    • free to download and use
    • certain limitations regarding usage
  • SQL Server 20xx Standard Edition

    • License required
  • SQL Server 20xx Enterprise Edition

    • License required

A list of Editions and supported features can be found in the article Editions and supported features of SQL Server 2019 (15.x) (Microsoft | SQL Docs).

Answering Your Question

Can I install SQL Server Management Studio offline without internet access and create databases locally on my pc?

Yes, you can install SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) offline without internet access. SSMS is a stand-alone tool that allows you to access existing and running SQL Server instances, be they locally installed or remotely installed.

The CEIP services (pointed out by J.D. in the comments) are services required to be up and running in some of the available free versions of SQL Server 20xx.

Do they require an internet connection to work?


Will they send data to Microsoft's CEIP (Customer Experience and Improvement Program) if there is an existing internet connection?

Yes, most probably. (Please also read What Is the SQL Server CEIP Service? (Brentozar.com)

  • While it is possible to do this, I'm not sure what the legality would be in doing so given that the free versions of SQL Server require the CEIP service to be running to send telemetry data back to Microsoft, which wouldn't be possible on an internet-less machine. So probably should mention to OP to check with Microsoft regarding licensing specifics.
    – J.D.
    Sep 28, 2022 at 11:31
  • Technologically I know it doesn't need internet for the service to run, it obviously needs internet to send the telemetry data though, so legal grey area which should be left for Microsoft to decide.
    – J.D.
    Sep 28, 2022 at 11:49
  • 1
    @J.D. I've added some details to the given answer.
    – John K. N.
    Sep 28, 2022 at 11:59

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