#0301 – SQL Server – SSMS – Identify disabled indexes


As I was going through the forums and the #sqlhelp Twitter feed yesterday, I came across a very interesting question:

Is there a way to verify whether an index is disabled in SSMS?

The short and simple answer is: No direct indicator exists in the SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) to indicate whether an index is enabled or disabled.

To cross-check, I used the disabled index scripts (refer Further Reading Section below) to disable a non-clustered and the clustered index on the Sales.Store table of the AdventureWorks2012 sample database.

The Index Properties window confirms that the indexes are indeed disabled.
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This is what the Object Explorer looks like:

As can be seen from the screenshot below, the icons for the indexes are the same – before and after the indexes were disabled.

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Even the Object Explorer Details window does not show any indication and/or column to indicate that the indexes are disabled
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This is one of the many cases where T-SQL scripts prove to be way more powerful than the SSMS UI. While I do not know the real reason why this particular discrepancy exists, I believe it is for performance reasons (the more meta-data that is accessed and refreshed on the UI, the more resources it would take resulting into an overall decline in performance).

Further Reading

  • ALTER INDEX – Enable & Disable Indexes [Link]
  • Disable Clustered Index and Data Insert [Link]
  • Disable Index & Update Statistics [Link]

(*All the above mentioned links are from Pinal Dave, a.k.a. “SQLAuthority” [B|T]’s blog)

Until we meet next time,

Be courteous. Drive responsibly.

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