SQL SERVER – System Objects Not Visible in SQL Server Management Studio

There are so many settings in SQL Server Management Studio that it can sometimes make someone nervous. Once of my client sent me email telling that something is not right with their SQL Server 2016 installation. Here is an email which I received:

Hi Pinal,
One of the developer has installed SQL Server 2016 on our development environment. I already had SQL Server 2014 running on the server. I am seeing a strange behavior in SQL Server Management Studio. When I connect from SSMS 2014, I am seeing system views as you can see below.

SQL SERVER - System Objects Not Visible in SQL Server Management Studio sys-missing-01

If I connect to a SAME instance via SQL Server 2016 Management Studio, I don’t see the System view. Actually the same is true of any system object under any node in SSMS.

I am not sure if there is something wrong with our installation or we need to reinstall client tools or SQL Server. Have you seen this earlier? Do you know what might be causing it?


On first thought, I felt something was seriously wrong or the client was doing something in his installation that caused the same. Since I had SQL Server 2016 management studio installed, I didn’t see this behavior on my laptop. So next action was to figure out if there is any setting which is hiding system objects. After a lot of searching, I was able to find it out. It is hidden under Tools > Options > Environment > Startup.

“Hide system objects in Object Explorer” is the setting which might cause this. I checked with John and he confirmed that his developer that this was the setting he changed in SSMS of 2016 version to avoid clutter in the object explorer.

Is there any such setting which has caused problem to you?

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

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