In SQL Server, how do I export the results of a query to a txt file. I tried tools>options>results to file. But this appears to have saved the Messages the query generated instead of the Results the query generated.

3 Answers 3



  • Use sqlcmd at the command line to execute your SQL statement; the results will arrive as text and can be trivially saved.
  • Use bcp at the command line to execute your SQL statement with the "queryout" parameter.
  • Use SSMS to grid as you are, right-click the upper left cell of the results pane and use the Save Results As... option
  • Use SSMS to file; this will of course save the file on the machine SSMS is running on. Tools->Options->Results to file is where you set options like delimiter, maximum size, and so on. Instead, you want Query->Results To->Results to File or Ctrl-Shift-F (by default)
  • Other non-SQL ways like Powershell or any application language or MS Access or Excel with a DSN data source or SSIS or many many many other ways.

A manual way of achieving it is to CRTL+T on your SSMS to enable the option Results to Text. Execute your query and right click the Results > Save results as > Save as Type > All Files and name your file something.txt.

Result to Text option

  • Thanks for the answers Ronaldo. It's not working though, perhaps because I am accessing SQL Server through a VDI? Control T does not illicit anything, and I tried to save to text via Tools>Options>Results to Text, but that doesn't work for me either.
    – Jimbo
    Nov 29, 2022 at 21:50
  • I just ran SELECT * FROM SYSDATABASES successfully. It did something. Not sure what.
    – Jimbo
    Nov 29, 2022 at 21:54
  • @Jimbo your problem is not related to using a VDI. That query SELECT * FROM SYSDATABASES was just an example of a query to have a result to print and post on my answer. What version of SSMS (Management Studio) are you using? Did you hit CTRL+T after you had a tab open to run a query?
    – Ronaldo
    Nov 29, 2022 at 23:29

If you are not restricted only to SSMS, you can use Powershell

Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance MyInstance -Database MyDB -Query "SELECT * FROM Mytable" | Export-CSV "C:\MyResults.csv"

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