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How to Enable an Index in SQL Server

In this article we will take a look at how to enable an index in SQL Server. This is a very useful feature which will help you enable an index which was disabled earlier to check whether the index was really useful or not without actually dropping the index. 

How to verify whether an index is disabled or not in SQL Server?

Execute the below TSQL script to verify whether the index is disabled or not in SQL Server.

/* verify whether the Index is Disabled or Not? */
SELECT	  name AS [Index Name]
		, type_desc AS [Index Type]
		, index_id AS [Index ID]
		, CASE IS_DISABLED
				WHEN 0 THEN 'Enabled'
				ELSE 'Disabled'
			END AS [Index Usage]
		, FILL_FACTOR AS [Fill Factor]
FROM SYS.INDEXES
WHERE OBJECT_ID = OBJECT_ID('Sales.Customer')
	ORDER BY 2 
GO
How to Check whether the index is disabled or not in SQL Server
How to Check whether the index is disabled or not in SQL Server

How to Rebuild Index in SQL Server?

There are different ways in which you can rebuild the index in SQL Server. However the easiest method will be to execute ALTER INDEX REBUILD statement to rebuild an index or execute CREATE INDEX WITH DROP_EXISTING statement to enable a disabled index. In the below demo I will use Sales.Customer table which is available in AdventureWorks2008R2 sample database. For more information see, How to Disable an Index in SQL Server.

Different Ways to Enable an Index in SQL Server

  • Enable an Index Using ALTER INDEX…REBUILD Statement
  • Enable an Index Using CREATE INDEX WITH DROP_EXISTING Statement
  • Enable an Index in SQL Server Using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)

Let’s get started and learn in detail different options available to enable an index in SQL Server.

1. Connect to Database Instance Using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)

2. Expand Databases -> Expand AdventureWorks2008R2 database -> Expand Tables -> Expand Sales.Customer table -> Expand Indexes and the right click the index which you want to enable and click Rebuild.

How to Rebuild an Index in SQL Server
How to Rebuild an Index in SQL Server

3. This will open up Rebuild Indexes popup as shown in the snippet below.

Rebuild Index in SQL Server Using SSMS
Rebuild Index in SQL Server Using SSMS

4. Finally, click OK to Rebuild the index which was disable before.

How to Enable an Index Using ALTER INDEX…REBUILD Statement?

To enable an index in SQL Server execute the below mentioned TSQL script which will enable IX_Customer_TerritoryID index of Sales.Customer table which is available in AdventureWorks2008R2 sample database.

USE [AdventureWorks2008R2]
GO

ALTER INDEX [IX_Customer_TerritoryID] ON [Sales].[Customer] REBUILD 
GO

How to Enable an Index in SQL Server Using CREATE INDEX WITH DROP_EXISTING Statement?

To enable an index in SQL Server execute the below TSQL script which will enable IX_Customer_TerritoryIDindex of Sales.Customer table which is available in AdventureWorks2008R2 sample database.

USE [AdventureWorks2008R2] 
GO 

CREATE NONCLUSTERED INDEX [IX_Customer_TerritoryID] ON [Sales].[Customer]
(
[TerritoryID] ASC
)
WITH (DROP_EXISTING = ON,
FILLFACTOR = 90) 
GO

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Ashish Mehta

Ashish Mehta

Ashish Kumar Mehta is a database manager, trainer and technical author. He has more than a decade of IT experience in database administration, performance tuning, database development and technical training on Microsoft SQL Server from SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2014. Ashish has authored more than 325 technical articles on SQL Server across leading SQL Server technology portals. Over the last few years, he has also developed and delivered many successful projects in database infrastructure; data warehouse and business intelligence; database migration; and upgrade projects for companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Cognizant and Centrica PLC, UK. He holds an engineering degree in computer science and industry standard certifications from Microsoft including MCITP Database Administrator 2005/2008, MCDBA SQL Server 2000 and MCTS .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications.

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