SQL Server Recovery

Know How to Make SQL Server Faster & Perform Tuning

Jason Clark ~ Modified: April 5th, 2023 ~ SQL ~ 8 Minutes Reading

how to make SQL Server faster

It’s quite common that our SQL Server becomes slow after some time of use & we receive the same query from users all around the world. Now, in order to learn how to make SQL Server faster & better, there are some key points to consider first. There is no such tool for tuning the SQL Server instead a set of practices we need to take into use.

This blog is oriented especially toward this query as we are trying to provide an in-depth solution for making SQL Server queries faster than before. Here are the top 18 tips that we need to practice as per the modern SQL technology standards.

While using a Server, a good structure is the main primary objective for developers to build a good & healthy application. Therefore, SQL being the backend support needs to be fully optimized accordingly. Evidently, traditional queries are no more that much effective.

Let’s look at the best tips that users can take in use to optimize SQL Server performance instantly. Also, these tips will not only help users enhance their skills in working with SQL. So, it’s a win-win situation for us all.

1. Make SQL Database Corruption Free

The biggest problem that slows down Server apart from the queries perspective is corruption in data files. Getting rid of SQL database corruption can help users instantly speed up. Users can learn how to make SQL Server query faster this way.

Therefore, they can experience a massive change in SQL performance with just this one change. If you are facing similar problems, the solution to repair corrupted files is mentioned at the bottom of the page.

2. EXISTS Is Way Better Than IN

A lot of users need to check the existence & so far they must be using the IN command. However, using EXISTS is better & faster than using IN. Below is a small example mentioned:

SELECT Name, Price from tblProduct

Where ProductID EXISTS (Selection of ProoductID must be Dissimilar from tblOrder)

3. Stay Away From Cursors

In order to learn how to make SQL Server faster, users must know that cursors are very slow in performance, Therefore, it’s better to avoid them.

This is why users should search for Cursors alternatives for learning how to make SQL Server query faster & efficient.

4. Go for the Better Data Type

It’s obvious that users store their data in the text which slows down the server speed. Storing data in the text should only be considered if having more than 8000 characters. To put it simply, the text data type is better for storing long data files. If you have less than 8000 characters, using varchar is the best option for users.

5. nchar and nvarchar Are Not Good Options

If you are using nchar & nvarchar, stop doing it now as these data types take twice the memory in comparison to char & varchar types. That’s why, users should use char & varchar.

nchar & nvarchar data types should be used only in the case of Unicode data having 146 Bit characters. Storing data in Chinese (mandarin), Hindi, etc characters requires nchar & nvarchar.

6. Make SQL Server Faster with Small Transactions

It’s highly suggested for users keep transactions as small as possible. The reason for this is that transactions tend to lock the processing tables’ data during their lifetime. In fact, in some cases, long transactions result in deadlocks as well.

7. Keep Clustered Index Small

Make it a habit to keep your clustered indexes small as it plays a significant role in reducing storage. It’s possible that the fields used in a clustered index might also be in use by a non-clustered index. Also, the database stores the data in the order of the clustered index. Evidently, it helps to learn how to make search faster in SQL Server database.

Therefore, having a large clustered index must have large numbers of rows & columns. Thus, it increases the size as well which slows the SQL server. Evidently, if you are tuning SQL Server performance, then keeping clustered index small is beneficial.

8. Don’t Use HAVING Oftenly

We highly recommend users avoid the Having clause. It is because this acts as an additional filter over the selected rows. However, if you want to filter the result of aggregation, using the Having clause is justified. Otherwise, using it for every random task is going to make your server slow. Learning how to make SQL Server query faster includes this small but significant tip as experts also recommend this.

9.  Adopt Schema Name First

Users should practice using the schema name prior to the object’s name & followed by a full stop as “.”. To know how to make SQL Server faster, one should always write this as mentioned below:

SELECT col4,col5 from dbx.tblName

Note: Here, dbx is the schema name.

10. Stored Procedure for Complex Queries

Using the stored procedure for queries that are used frequently & might be complex is a good option. IT can help users learn how to make SQL Server queries faster than before.

11. Avoiding NULL Values is Good

If you are having fixed-length fields then do not use NULL values. This is because NULL uses the equivalent space in comparison to the input value you want to insert. If you want to use NULL then opt for the varchar fields (variable-length). It takes less space than the previous.

12. Table Variable Rather than Temp Table

As we know that the Temp table is stored under the tempdb database, try to use the table variable for fine tuning SQL Server performance. It eliminates the interaction between temp table & tempdb which is more time taking.

13. How to Make SQL Server Faster by Setting NOCOUNT ON

SQL returns a number of rows affected with SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE & DELETE statements, practicing to set NOCOUNT ON will help to increase the speed. You can get a glance in the below command:


14. Minimize the Use of * in SELECT

SQL Server converts the “*” into columns name prior to the execution of the query. Therefore, not using the * will significantly help users learn how to make search faster in SQL Server database.

Below is an example:

SELECT col1,col2,col3 FROM tblName 

15. Create Clustered & Non-Clustered Indexes

We all are aware of how SQL indexes help users to access their data files faster. Therefore, creating clustered & non-clustered indexes is a great practice to learn how to make search faster in SQL Server database.

However, do not create indexes unnecessarily as more indexes will definitely slow down the INSERT, UPDATE, & DELETE statements as well.

16. Avoid UNION & Prefer UNION ALL to Learn How to Make SQL Server Faster

UNION ALL does not sort out the result set for users’ distinguished values. Therefore, it is good to use the UNION ALL rather than the UNION statement.

17. TRY-Catch for Tuning SQL Server Performance

If you are facing multiple errors in T-SQL statements, then using the Try-Catch can help you handle them efficiently as well as effectively. This way, a lot of errors like error 983, error 1105, error 5173, etc can be managed by users.

18. Stay Away from “SP_” Prefix

If you have a user-defined stored procedure name, then stop using the “SP_” prefix right now. This is because this prefix is sued by the system-defined stored procedures.

If you are using this prefix then the server searches the user-defined stored procedure.  In the master database & in the current session database after it. To learn how to make SQL Server query faster, users must know this hack very well.

Optimize SQL Server Performance by Repairing Corrupted Files

Now, that we covered all the tips, it’s time to explore the best way to sort out the corruption issues in SQL Server. For that, rather than long & risky manual procedures, users can give it a try to automated solutions. Just downloading the SQL Recovery Tool can help users repair corruption issues in just five simple steps.

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Finally, we successfully learned how to make SQL Server faster & efficient. No users can take these tips & practices in use to get the best-optimized server. These ways are the best for tuning SQL Server performance for sure. Using the automated tool for removing corruption & recovering files is just the cherry on top. Hope this guide helped you to work on SQL in a better way.