SSMS 19 and “Can’t reach this page” message
Published Dec 15 2023 09:44 AM 2,590 Views
Microsoft

If you have installed SQL Server Management Studio 19.1 or higher and encountered an Internet Explorer dialog with the message “Can’t reach this page” when trying to login using Microsoft Entra authentication (previously known as Azure Active Directory authentication), this post is for you.  An example of what this error looks like is below.  If you haven’t encountered this error and have no issues invoking a web browser from SSMS, then you can stop here and move on to something else!  But if you’re interested, feel free to keep reading.

 

Internet Explorer window with Can't reach this page messageInternet Explorer window with Can't reach this page message

 

tl;dr

This issue typically occurs in environments that are heavily locked down with limited or no internet access from the machine that has SSMS installed.  The solution is to either set the default browser for the machine and user running SSMS, or change the option Use system default web browser to False.

 

New default value in SSMS 19.1

In SSMS 19.1 we changed the default value for the Use system default web browser setting to True.  If you upgrade from an earlier SSMS 19 release, we do not update the setting as part of the upgrade.  But if you have a fresh install of SSMS 19.1 or newer, the default value for the setting is now True.  For every release prior, the default is False.

 

Why this setting changed

When SSMS invokes a browser, it defaults to use Internet Explorer, which was retired in June 2022. We received a lot of customer feedback for users running SSMS 18 builds (and the initial SSMS 19.0 release) that they were receiving the message “Unsupported browser” when they invoked a browser from SSMS, typically when trying to login to Azure. 

 

Screenshot of Unsupported Browser messageScreenshot of Unsupported Browser message

 

This caused significant frustration, and in some cases, an inability to login to Azure entirely.  Changing the Use system default web browser setting to True resolved the issue for those users because it enabled SSMS to use alternative browsers such as Microsoft Edge automatically.  Based on this feedback, and the number of users affected, we made the decision to change the default value for the Use system default web browser setting to True in SSMS 19.1.

 

What this means to you

For those of you that do not work in an environment with limited network access, you may not have noticed anything.  It’s also possible that invoking a browser seems much faster.

 

For those of you that do work in an environment with limited or no direct internet access, you may have run into this problem, depending on how your firewalls are configured.  Two options for resolution are:

 

  1. Within SSMS go to Tools -> Options, select Azure Services, within Miscellaneous change Use system default web browser to False.  You do not have to restart SSMS for this change to take effect.
  2. Configure your browser of choice as the default browser.  Within Edge, go to Settings, then navigate to the Default browser page and set Edge as the default browser.

 

For folks running SSMS 19.0.2 or earlier (including 18.x, etc.), if you encounter the "Unsupported browser" dialog, go to Tools -> Options, select Azure Services, and within Miscellaneous change Use system default web browser to True.

 

Options dialog in SSMS to change Use system default web browserOptions dialog in SSMS to change Use system default web browser

 

Final thoughts

We have been asked whether we will revert this setting to default back to False in a future release, and the answer is no.  We don’t take changing default values lightly, as we recognize it can impact users.  We consider the number of users that may be affected and compare that to the number of users that may be helped.  In this scenario, the majority of SSMS users do not work in an environment with limited network access.  Based on the level of feedback we’ve made after making this change, compared to what it was before, we are confident in our decision.

 

This setting is per SSMS and user installation.  There is no global option to change it for all SSMS users, but Administrators of any estate (large or small) can leverage PowerShell to set the default browser if this change causes problems for users. This option will still exist in SSMS 20 as it ensures that Microsoft Edge (or another browser of your choice) is selected as the default system browser for SSMS to launch when needed. 

 

 

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‎Dec 15 2023 09:44 AM
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