SQL Server Memory Grant Warning: What Does It Mean and How to Address It

SQL Server is giving us warnings in the execution plan, and it’s actually really helpful. When a query is slow, these warnings give us clues as to where the bottleneck might be. One important warning is about memory Grant, which is extra memory the query needs for operations like sorting. If the server can’t provide this extra memory, the query waits, and that’s a problem. So, when troubleshooting query performance, pay attention to these warnings in the execution plan. Don’t ignore them! Happy troubleshooting, friends! πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘πŸ”


In this tutorial from SQL mos, we will delve into execution plan warnings, with a specific focus on the memory Grant warning in recent versions of SQL Server. These warnings provide valuable insights for SQL Server developers and DBAs to troubleshoot query performance, identifying potential bottlenecks and issues.

The Importance of Execution Plan Warnings

When a query is running slow, one of the key steps in troubleshooting is examining the execution plan. This includes looking at cost iterators, missing index hints, and warnings. The warning symbols in the plan can provide crucial hints and clues to guide query tuning efforts.

Understanding Memory Grant Warning

One of the critical warnings we will explore is the memory Grant warning. This warning indicates that the query is requesting extra memory from SQL Server, and for some reason, the server is unable to allocate or grant that additional memory. This can lead to prolonged query execution times, impacting performance.

Demystifying Memory Grant

In our demonstration, we will review a query that requires additional memory for a sort operator. We’ll delve into the impact of stress on SQL Server resources, leading to memory contention and slow query performance. We’ll discuss how this additional memory grant contributes to the performance bottleneck.

Troubleshooting with Execution Plan Warnings

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By analyzing the warning in the execution plan, we can identify the query’s wait time for memory grant during execution. This invaluable information assists in pinpointing the root cause of performance issues, providing a clear direction for tuning efforts.


The key takeaway is to not overlook the warnings in the execution plan. They offer essential insights into query performance and guide troubleshooting efforts. Understanding and addressing memory grant issues can significantly improve the overall performance of SQL Server queries.

Key Takeaways


  • Execution plan warnings provide vital clues for troubleshooting query performance.
  • Memory grant warnings indicate potential memory contention and performance bottlenecks.
  • Analyzing warnings in the execution plan is crucial for identifying and resolving query performance issues.


Q: How can I effectively troubleshoot query performance in SQL Server?
A: Examining the warnings in the execution plan provides valuable insights into performance bottlenecks and helps guide tuning efforts.


For in-depth learning and comprehensive coverage on SQL Server Performance Tuning, explore our Master Class recordings available on SQL mos.com. Grab your lifetime subscription now and enhance your knowledge and skills in query tuning and performance optimization.

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