How to set SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) transaction isolation level

The default transaction isolation level for queries ran from SQL Server Management Studio is read committed. Occasionally this can cause performance issues due to shared locks when support staff are querying the production DB.

If you’re OK with the potential of dirty reads it can be safer to switch the SSMS default to read uncommitted. Transactions running at this level do not issue shared locks to prevent other transactions from modifying data read by the current transaction.

The isolation level can be changed from the Query Execution settings below…

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