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What is “Difference between TRUNCATE and DELETE statement in SQL Server” is most common question asked in the interview. I have observed that the answer of this question is varies based on experience and understanding of the SQL server. So in this article I am explaining the significant difference between Delete vs Truncate.


TRUNCATE is a DDL command DELETE is a DML command
TRUNCATE is executed using a table lock and whole table is locked for remove all records. DELETE is executed using a row lock, each row in the table is locked for deletion.
We cannot use Where clause with TRUNCATE. We can use where clause with DELETE to filter & delete specific records.
TRUNCATE removes all rows from a table. The DELETE command is used to remove rows from a table based on WHERE condition.
Minimal logging in transaction log, so it is performance wise faster. It maintain the log, so it slower than TRUNCATE.
TRUNCATE TABLE removes the data by deallocating the data pages used to store the table data and records only the page deallocations in the transaction log. The DELETE statement removes rows one at a time and records an entry in the transaction log for each deleted row
Identify column is reset to its seed value if table contains any identity column. Identity of column keep DELETE retain the identity
To use Truncate on a table you need at least ALTER permission on the table. To use Delete you need DELETE permission on the table.
Truncate uses the less transaction space than Delete statement. Delete uses the more transaction space than Truncate statement.
Truncate cannot be used with indexed views Delete can be used with indexed views
Drop all object’s statistics and marks like High Water Mark free extents and leave the object really empty with the first extent. zero pages are left in the table Keeps object’s statistics and all allocated space. After a DELETE statement is executed, the table can still contain empty pages.
TRUNCATE TABLE can’t activate a trigger because the operation does not log individual row deletions. When we run truncate command to remove all rows of table then it actually doesn’t removes any row, rather it deallocates the data pages. In case of Truncate triggers will not be fired because no modification takes place, we have just deallocated the data pages not deleted any row from table. Delete activates a trigger because the operation are logged individually. When we execute Delete command, DELETE trigger will be initiated if present. Delete is a DML command and it deletes the data on row-by-row basis from a table. Which means delete is modifying the data by deleting it from the table. Triggers are fired when a DML statement executed on a table, so trigger will be fired in case of Delete command execution.

In this article we have seen major difference between “Truncate and Delete in sql server”. To get software testing articles in your inbox click here to Subscribe with your email address link. Also I would like all of you to please join this discussion and add more valuable points to it. Thanks.

2 comments to Difference between TRUNCATE and DELETE statement in SQL Server

  • Angeloa

    Fantastic article.

  • rupsha chakrtaborty


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