SQL SERVER – 2008 – IntelliSense Does Not Work – Enable IntelliSense

While I was working with SQL Server 2008 IntelliSense, I realized that it was not functioning as I expected. Even after I had enabled IntelliSense it was still not opening any suggestions at all. After a while, I figured out some vital information regarding how to make sure IntelliSense smoothly works all the time without you giving any trouble.

Given below are four different ways through which you can enable IntelliSense.

1) Make sure you are connected to SQL Server 2008 Edition.
IntelliSense does not work with the previous versions of SQL Server.

Int1 SQL SERVER   2008   IntelliSense Does Not Work   Enable IntelliSense

2) IntelliSense should be enabled.
There are two ways to verify whether IntelliSense is enabled or not.
a) From Toolbar

Int2b SQL SERVER   2008   IntelliSense Does Not Work   Enable IntelliSense

b) Go to Tools >> Options >> Text Editor >> Transact-SQL >> IntelliSense

Int2a SQL SERVER   2008   IntelliSense Does Not Work   Enable IntelliSense

3) IntelliSense should be refreshed with the latest changes in database.
b) Go to Edit >> IntelliSense >> Refresh Local Cache

Int3 SQL SERVER   2008   IntelliSense Does Not Work   Enable IntelliSense

4) Go to Tools >> Options >> Text Editor >> Transact-SQL >> General >> IntelliSense
Select Auto List Members and Check Parameter Information.

Int4 SQL SERVER   2008   IntelliSense Does Not Work   Enable IntelliSense

Reference : Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

156 thoughts on “SQL SERVER – 2008 – IntelliSense Does Not Work – Enable IntelliSense

    • There’s one more reason why this feature doesn’t work or works intermittently. If you’re using SQL Server Management studio as a published Citrix Application, then intellisense may or may not work for you. This is not a SQL Server Management Studio issue, it is a Citrix Issue.


  1. Not working with down-rev servers (2005) really blows. I saw this demo’d with the pre-release version of SSMS and was sorely disappointed after installing it.

    It will be years before some companies get around to SQL Server 2008.


  2. Hi,

    I have all the options for making the intelliSense work in sql server 2008, but its not working. Please help. Thanks in advance.


  3. After all the above mentioned settings, If IntelliSense still does not work then try the following one more setting:

    Verify that the T-SQL Editor does not launch in SQLCMD mode Under Tools->Options->Query Execution->SQL Server->General, make sure “By default, open new queries in SQLCMD mode” is unchecked



    • I have same problem with PROD and found that prod user has more restriction than DEV user. Try giving more access to PROD user. Sometimes in PROD env, they have tighten the security and closed some of the options.


  4. i have checked intellisense is does’nt woking in production server, in my server it is working but in other’s server is doesn’t working????
    could u plz help me????


  5. I tried the above mentioned steps initially on a newly installed client, and initially it didn’t work. (It works on the host server).

    I think closed Studio Management, and re-opened it. For those of you that try the above steps, and appear to still have trouble, trying closing it down and restarting.


  6. I’ve been having this problem for months. consitently on one server, sporadically on others. I’ve checked and tried all steps above, and everything short of reinstalling, and currently intellisense doesn’t work at all. I have a feeling if I reboot it may work with some servers sporadically again. There’s not a lot of helpful info on this out there yet. Seems like it stops short at “Make sure it’s turned on”. Sorry, I know this isn’t helpful, I’m just venting now.


  7. Everybody else’s client has intellisense working, and I have it working on my desktop, but my laptop just doesn’t work. I’ve tried all of the above mentioned things. They’re all set and refreshed and it still doesn’t work.


  8. If you are using SQL server 2008 and connecting to the server which is running on SQL server 2005, Intellisence wont work and vice versa.

    Thats my understandability and probably is the right thing….


  9. Same here after upgrading from SQL 2008 to SQL 2008 R2: Intellisense + auto list members not working anymore. Tried everthing mentioned, even uninstall/repair.

    Fixed by complete uninstall of SQL 2008 R2 and install again from scratch. Weird …


  10. I noticed on my SQL Server that if I had databases that I took offline using the context menu on the database container in the Object Explorer “Tasks -> Take Offline” then IntelliSense would stop working all together for the entire server. I have not tried to take the databases offline using other options in the Studio or using sql commands but the result would probably be the same.


  11. Ugh, what a great feature! We had two databases offline and once we deleted them not-so-intellisense started working again. You may want to add that little tidbit to your article Pinal. Thanks again, your blog has been a blessing…


  12. Nice BUG! I’ve tried everything including completely uninstalling and reinstalling R2 but still had no intellisense on 1 2008 server (intellisense worked OK on all others). Still had no intellisense.

    Then read Igor/Rob/BertB’s comments about intellisense not working when a database is marked Offline.

    That was it – there was an offline database!! Put the database online and intellisense works for all databases on the server.

    Thanks guys!


  13. I’m using SS2008 Developer edition on my laptop and when I upgraded from Vista to Win7 Intellisense stopped working.
    The only advice I could find online was to re-install SS2008.
    Very inconvenient.


  14. If you are using SQL server 2008 and connecting to the server which is running on SQL server 2005, Intellisence wont work and vice versa.


  15. Hi All..
    I too had the same problem about intellisense not working in SQL Server 2008 and it was driving me nuts. Then i read Igor/Rob/BertB’s comments about intellisense not working when a database is marked Offline.

    As soon as i bought it online (right click on the db->task-bring online), it worked like a charm.. very very weird though..

    thanks guys for your help.. really appreciate it


  16. It works on my case after i have removed the SQLMODE check mark.

    I have all the other options as mentioned on the blog. I changed the option when i installed the AdventureWorks Sample database.


  17. I had similar problem too, all settings properly set and intellisense did not work. For me installing SQL Server SP1 helped (SQLServer2008SP1-KB968369-x64-ENU.exe) and now intelliSence is working fine.


  18. I try it with my SQL server developer edition R2 but it’s not woked after doing thing you show in post.

    are their any method to get intellisense worked.


  19. I found another problem with Intellisense. It appears that if you also use Visual Studio 2010 on the same machine as your installation of SSMS and install Service Pack 1 for Visual Studio then Intellisense stops working inside SSMS!

    After searching the Microsoft SQL Server website I came across this bug post, looks like this is a known issue.



  20. Here’s a surprise! I have SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise installed in my notebook, and an instance of Express just because it’s a requirement of MS Lightswitch.
    Tools->Options->Query Execution->SQL Server->General, doesn’t show any “By default, open new queries in SQLCMD mode” checkbox! Why it doesn’t show?


  21. I have come across something a bit strange.
    My enviroment is as follows.
    I am learning SQL 2008, am still in the beginner stage.
    I have got a Vmware practise domain at home.
    Installed in the Vmware enviroment is the following:
    1 x MS server 2003 which acts as a Domain Controller, this DC does not have SQL installed on it.
    2 x XP pro SP3 machines running SQL Server 2008, these two pc’s authenticate to the DC.
    I could not get intellisense to work even though I had done everything suggested above.
    I then powered off the DC and tested to see if that would make a difference to intellisense on the two XP pc’s. All of a sudden intellisense started working
    Is this logical?


  22. i was using SQL server 2008 and connecting to the server which is running on SQL server 2005, and vice versa…
    thats why it didnt worked..


  23. After reading this blog , I realized that having database offline caused intellisense to stop working. I put the database back online and refreshed intellisense cache ( Edit >>Intellisense >> Refresh Locale Cache) and everything is back to normal. If your database is anything but online , you will get this problem with intellisense. Is there a fix for this from MS ???


  24. I have already applied the tricks in this, by the way this is great, unfortuntely after that my SSMS Intellisense was not working. I realized that SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 is there since July and had not installed in my machine. I installed it and it is working fine. This SP contains the Cumulative Updated including the one that fix the Intellisense after install VS 2010 SP1


  25. Hi there. As I found this a good starting point to my issues with intellisense Only fair to add my resolution that may help others. All the settings were as you mentioned already but did not fix my issue.
    eventually with further searching for win 7 pro – was advised to install SQLServer2008R2SP1-KB2528583-x64-ENU
    Restart required – i did refresh cache. I have intellisense!!!!! thanks a stack


  26. Taking a database offline on a SQL Server 2008 or 2008 R2 instance will break intellisense for all databases on the instance when using SSMS 2008 R2 once the local cache is refreshed (either explicitly or through a new connection).

    This only has an affect when taking a database offline that was online when the instance was last restarted. After a restart with the database offline, intellisense works again as expected.

    This does not affect intellisense when using SSMS 2008.

    –Kamlesh Samnani


  27. there’re lots of command above,i didnt read them all,maybe you have found your answer.
    i faced with this problem today.why intellisence doesnt work?

    i found a solution and the reason for the problem is insalling VS SP1.when you install it,sql server 08 rtm intellisence stop working.

    to fix it you can download the cumulative update for sql server 08 rtm.
    link is here :

    this is in turkish.but you can easily understand what you need to download.

    good luck


  28. Nice Article…
    I was using sql server 2008 but accessing sqlserver2005 instance.
    After getting connect to sqlserver2008 via connect window=>server=>browse=>select the right instance=>OK=>Connect
    After getting connected, intellisence start working.

    thanks a lot.


  29. I add a tab after typing the word SELECT to make my queries easier to read. Well…using SQL Server 2008 R2 when you type SELECT and hit tab it replaces the word “SELECT” with “@@CONNECTIONS”. That’s just what you want. Maybe with the next release they could replace the word “WHERE” with “@@ANNOYING”



  30. I found on my machine and a coworker’s that if you install VS 2010 SP1 it will break intellisense for SQL server 2008 R2. In my case we did not have SP1 installed for SSMS at the time. We installed SP1 on SSMS and intellisense began working again.


  31. I have installed first Visual Studio 2010 and then Sql Server 2008 R2 Edition, but got this SQL Server Setup failure error.

    TITLE: SQL Server Setup failure.

    SQL Server Setup has encountered the following error:

    Unable to generate a temporary class (result=1).
    error CS0009: Metadata file ‘c:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\mscorlib.dll’ could not be opened — ‘An attempt was made to load a program with an incorrect format. ‘

    Error code 0x84B10001.



    After googling, I found that I installed Microsoft product in wrong order, the correct order should be first installed SQL Server 2008 R2 and then Visual Studio 2010, so I uninstalled the Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate Edition , and then try to install SQL Server 2008 R2, but I got this error instantly. Please try to solve this problem.


  32. hey,
    I follow all the given option here, but still i’m fail to activate Intellisense in SQL Management Studio (i’m using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 10.50 SP1). Please Try to solve this problem :( :(


  33. I tried all the fixes – taking databases offline and then bringing them online, installed Cumulative update 10, repaired SQL Server Installation, refreshed local cache, made changes to the required settings on SQL Server Management Studio but everything was in vain. Finally installing the correct service pack (SP1) did the trick for me !

    Follow the link below, and download SQLServer2008R2SP1-KB2528583-x86-ENU.exe (or the x64 file for a x64 bit instance of SQL Server)


    Finally i have Intellisense enabled !


  34. OK, I’ve just discovered a fix for an issue that can break Code Folding (Code Outlining) in SSMS 2008. I have this 5,000 line script that I’ve been working on for past several days. This afternoon I encountered an issue where the folding of code blocks simply stopped working about half-way down. I tried closing the script, shutdown/re-open SSMS, clear the Intellisense cache; all of the common reccomendations. What I found interesting was that code-folding was broken within the same code black that I had last modified.
    I opened up the script in Notepad++ and discovered that there were some lines within the block which had [CR] but not the usual [CR][LF]. After deleting and re-inserting the line breaks in Notepad++, I saved the script, and then re-opened it in SSMS. The problem has been corrected. So if you encounter code-folding strangeness, confirm that your script has proper line terminations.


  35. I have tried all the above suggestions and Intellisense does not work. All the other developers have it working on their machine but mine won’t. SQLCMD is turned off. Intellisense is turned on. Auto List Members and Parameter Information are turn on.


  36. heyy please help me, i want to install both sql server 2008 SP2 and visual studio 2010 ultimate, but i did’nt understand which software i need to install first
    to avoid further installation errors……what should i do???????


  37. Everyhting above didnt work for me, except to install the SP1 of SQL server 2008R2… After i installed it it worked immediately.. So everyone… do install the SP1…


  38. Found new solution which is a variation of Donna’s suggestion. Even though my Windows login is an Administrator, I ran SSMS as Administrator, disabled Intellisense, closed SSMS, opened SSMS as Administrator, and enabled Intellisense. Intellisense now works for me, regardless whether I run SSMS as Administrator. Previously, same process without running SSMS as Administrator had failed to resolve issue for me.


  39. Had the problem today… fixed it.

    – Make sure your db dropdown points to the correct db! Sometimes you do something and you look and it’s pointing to master or some other db…


  40. I have tried all of the mentioned steps and I still cant get Intellisense to work.
    SQL 2008 (10.0 SP3)
    It was working and then all of a sudden it stopped.
    Any other suggestions. Wven when I checked to see if the databases were offline teh Bring online was greyed out


  41. Pingback: SQL SERVER – Weekly Series – Memory Lane – #023 | SQL Server Journey with SQL Authority

  42. Pinal,

    My database has the comptability level set as 100 and I am using SQL Server 2008 R2’s Management Studio, the intellisense is already enabled in the query options but I am not able to figure out why it is still not working.


  43. Above steps did not resolve the intellisense issue with my Editor.

    I found the link which pointed out the below and provides a hotfix for SQL 2008r2.
    However the catch is that if you install the cumulative update for sql 2008, it might impact the intellisense in Visual Studio 2010 RTM, for which there is another fix . Finally after reading this I decided not to go with any update since I did not want to screw up my VSTS intellisense also.

    link1: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2531482
    Assume that you install Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1) on a computer that has Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 RTM and Cumulative Update 1 through 6 for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 installed. In this situation, the IntelliSense feature in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Management Studio (SSMS 2008 R2) may stop working.

    Link2: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2531482
    To resolve this issue, apply the following cumulative update. This cumulative update fixes the incompatibility between SSMS 2008 R2 and the Transact-SQL Language Service that is included in Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

    Note If you install this cumulative update on the computer that has Visual Studio 2010 RTM installed, you may experience a loss of SQL IntelliSense features in Visual Studio. To resolve this issue, install Visual Studio 2010 SP1. To download this service pack, visit the following Microsoft website:


  44. Hi make sure the HDD space available 10 GB free in SQL Database parking path and sql installed folder , because it required some virtual log creation


  45. I have also the same proble , Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio 10.50.1617.0, i have chacked all the changes as the above article but still it does not worlds.


  46. As with a lot of you… I’ve tried all the suggestions and have yet to get Intellisense working. I’m currently running SQL SERVER 2008 R2 10.50.2500.0 on Windows Server 2008 R2 within a Virtual Build. I’m going to install one of the suggested updates (SQLServer2008R2SP2-KB2630458-x64-ENU) — Patch Level 10.51.2500.0 — and I’ll let you know what happens. Also I’d like to mention that I do have a number of LINKED Servers configured, I’m not sure if this has any impact that would cause Intellisense to stop working, one of the Linked servers is to an Oracle database. I also have the following additional software installed:
    1) SQL SERVER 2012 – 11.0.2100.60
    2) VS2010 Professional SP1Rel – 10.0.40219.1
    3) VS2012 Professional Update 3 – 11.0.60610.01
    When checking out the SQL SERVER 2012 version, I thought I try to see if IntelliSense was working here, and it wasn’t initially, but after checking the setting and clearing the cache and making sure IntelliSense was enabled in my query (Ctrl^Q + Ctrl^I) I was able to get it to work in 2012. SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2 still installing……..


  47. Update: After installing the SQL SERVER 2008 R2 SP2 I was finally able to get IntelliSense working again… I guess the Linked Servers didn’t have an impact.
    Thanks for all the suggestions
    Much Appreciated


  48. IntelliSense is not working in SQL Server 2008.
    System is connecting through citrilx. Is there any way to work IntelliSense without any issue?


  49. Hi
    I tried all the options to tick and untick for Intellisense, but still not working. Then install service pack 1 solve the problem.



  50. First of All Visual studio sp1 download, and install. After sql server 2008 r2 sp3 download and install. Then sql server 2008 r2 intellisense solved.


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