SSMS Dark Mode in SQL Server Management Studio

In SQL Server Management Studio you can enable the hidden Dark Mode, by altering one line in one file.

Caveats -- it's not a great dark mode implementation, yet. A few things are not themed, and some menus have black text on gray background.

SSMS Dark Mode Broken

Despite this I still prefer it, very much. Better for the eyes.

Before applying the change you will only have two color themes (Blue and Light) available under:

Tools -> Options -> General -> Color themes

To fix this:

Find the folder SSMS is running from, e.g.

Version Example Location
SSMS 2016 C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\130\Tools\Binn\ManagementStudio
SSMS 17 C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\140\Tools\Binn\ManagementStudio

(Basically got to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\ and find the biggest number, go into it, then look in Tools\Binn\ManagementStudio ... or right click your SSMS to see where it's launched)

As administrator Edit the file ssms.pkgundef

Restart SSMS.

Go to:

Tools -> Options -> General -> Color themes

Available theme now includes Blue, DARK and Light.


See also