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Fastest Way to Delete Lots of Rows in SQL Server

Bertrand tries out a few methods to delete data and what SQL Server configuration settings do to this calculus:

That took far longer than I’m comfortable admitting. Part of that was because I had originally included a 0.1% test for rowperloop which, in some cases, took several hours. So I removed those from the table a few days in, and can easily say: if you are removing 1,000,000 rows, deleting 1,000 rows at a time is highly unlikely to be an optimal choice, regardless of any other variables

I think Aaron lays out the caveats pretty well, but I’d reiterate that the main benefit behind chunking delete operations is not so much to make things faster, but to reduce the amount of time you spend blocking more important work, like user queries. And reducing the risk of blowing out the transaction log file (and maybe running out of disk space too).

One Comment

  1. George Walkey
    George Walkey2019-12-05


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