Colour-coding SQL Server Management Studio Connections

Have you ever wished there was an easier way to tell at a glance what server a particular Management Studio query window was connected to by, say, colouring the query window?   Well it turns out there is a way to do this baked into Management Studio, it’s just fairly well hidden.  Here’s how you do it:

  • Open Management Studio and press Ctrl + Alt + G to open the Registered Servers window.
  • Right-click the ‘Local Server Groups’ folder and select ‘New Server Registration’.
  • In the popup dialog, on the ‘General’ tab, enter the login information and give the registered server a name (e.g. ‘Production’).
  • To to the ‘Connection Properties’ tab, the tick the ‘Use Custom Color’ box.  Click ‘Select’ to the right of it.
  • Choose a colour for this server (I like to use green for Test, blue for SIT/UAT and red for Production).
  • Finally, click ‘Save’.

That’s it!  The next time you connect to the server you’ll see that the bottom information bar of the query window is now whichever colour you chose.  I know this won’t be for everyone, but for me it makes it much easier to see at a glance which server I’m connected to.

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