SQL Server Management Studio

How to Silently Install SQL Server Management Studio

If you find that you’re installing SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) often or on many servers, you might find that installing it silently, a.k.a. unattended, is more suitable than installing it through the usual method using the install wizard.

First, you can download the latest SSMS installer from Microsoft’s SSMS download page, or from this nifty little shortened link.

Next, you can install it from the command line or in PowerShell using a command like this:

.\SSMS-Setup-ENU.exe /Install /Passive /SSMSInstallRoot="D:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio 18"

These are not the only options you can use to install, just what I prefer to use. I choose these options because I like to see the UI pop up and run through so I can see it’s progress, but I don’t want to click any of the buttons. I also want it installed on the D drive, rather than the default which is the C drive. But you can choose for yourself by running the below command to see all the options:

.\SSMS-Setup-ENU.exe /?

Running this will bring up a little window showing you all the possible options.

As you can see, you can do silent repairs and uninstalls too. You can install completely quiet, with no UI displaying at all. You can choose to not restart and you can also choose a location for the install logs.

I personally use a powershell script to run this, rather than just entering into the command line. This makes it easy for me to run quickly and easy for me to change the parameters which I might want to change. It’s pretty short and simple really:

# Set parameters
$media_path = "D:\Installers\SQL Server Management Studio\Latest\SSMS-Setup-ENU.exe"
$install_path = "`"D:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio 18`""
$params = " /Install /Passive SSMSInstallRoot=$install_path"
# Run the install
Start-Process -FilePath $media_path -ArgumentList $params -Wait

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