Changing the TOP 1000 option

I often use a quick SELECT TOP 1000 to get a quick understand of what data is stored in an unfamiliar table, or to retrieve a small extract from a view to hand off to someone else in a spread sheet, and that’s… about it.

For those two purposes, do I really need 1000 rows? Certainly not for the first, and the second depends on someone else’s needs – and that’s why I like to lower this to SELECT TOP 100. It’s ever so slightly less intrusive as it’s having to ask for fewer rows, but still gets me enough data for me to get the information I want.

Here’s a very quick run down on how to change your “SELECT TOP” option to the number of your choosing:

  1. Open SSMS.
  2. From the menu bar, select Tools > Options.
  3. Go into the SQL Server Object Explorer node.
  4. From here, you can change your SELECT TOP option, as well as your EDIT TOP option
Top 1000 Option

Screenshot showing the aforementioned dialogue box with its default settings

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