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Finding SQL Server Indexes with Unused INCLUDE Columns

Dave Mason does some digging:

Periodic index analysis for SQL Server typically involves tasks such as checking for missing/unused/overlapping indexes, checking for heaps that maybe should have been designed with a clustered index, analyzing ROW/PAGE compression, etc. There are numerous DMVs that you can use as a starting point for those tasks. There’s also some good open source tools and scripts that members of the SQL Server community have created and shared. One task that I don’t recall ever seeing was an analysis of INCLUDE columns for nonclustered indexes. What I really wanted to do was to find INCLUDE columns that were never being used, and remove them from index definitions.

Click through to see what Dave learned, as well as the repo containing several useful scripts.