For years people were looking for ways to query more than 50.000 records in Salesforce without running into
Too many query rows: 50001. Event doing a COUNT() query was impossible.
By accident, I just did a query on a type with more than 1 million records. In the Query Editor of the Dev Console. And it worked!
When I tried the same in Apex it failed as expected. Why?
Apex uses more resources than a simple API call, such as extra memory, CPU time, etc, so there’s additional limits in place. The Developer Console, contrariwise, uses the API, which is just a server-side database cursor. As such, you can technically query up to 50,000,000 rows in the Developer Console (though very large queries may time out or freeze your browser).