Changes the properties of a full-text index.

Topic link iconTransact-SQL Syntax Conventions


   { ENABLE 
   | ADD ( column_name 
     [ TYPE COLUMN type_column_name ] 
     [ LANGUAGE language_term ] [,...n] )
   | DROP ( column_name [,...n] )


  • table_name
    Is the name of the table that contains the column or columns included in the full-text index. Specifying database and table owner names is optional.
    Tells Microsoft SQL Server whether or not to gather full-text index data for table_name. ENABLE activates the full-text index; DISABLE turns off the full-text index.

    When the full-text index is disabled, the full-text index metadata remains in the system tables. If CHANGE_TRACKING is in the enabled state (automatic or manual update) when the full-text index is disabled, the state of the index freezes, any ongoing crawl stops, and new changes to the table data are not tracked or propagated to the index. Full-text index on table_name can be reactivated with ENABLE.

    Specifies whether or not SQL Server maintains a list of all changes to the indexed data in the full-text catalog. Data changes through WRITETEXT and UPDATETEXT are not reflected in the full-text index, and are not picked up with change tracking.

    To modify the CHANGE_TRACKING state of a full-text index, the FILEGROUP in which the full-text indexed table resides must not be set to OFFLINE or READONLY. Otherwise, the command fails and SQL Server returns an error.

    Specifies that the change-tracking log will be propagated either on a schedule using SQL Server Agent, or manually by the user.
  • AUTO
    Specifies that SQL Server will automatically update the full-text index as data is modified in the associated tables. AUTO is the default.
  • OFF
    Specifies that SQL Server will not keep a list of changes to the indexed data.
  • ADD | DROP column_name
    Specifies the columns to be added or deleted from a full-text index. The column or columns must be of type char, varchar, nchar, nvarchar, text, ntext, image, xml, or varbinary(max).

    Use the DROP clause only on columns that have been enabled previously for full-text indexing.

    Use TYPE COLUMN and LANGUAGE with the ADD clause to set these properties on the column_name. When a column is added, the full-text index on the table must be repopulated in order for full-text queries against this column to work.

    Unless WITH NO POPULATION is specified, SQL Server automatically starts a full population after a column is added or dropped from a full-text index.

  • TYPE COLUMN type_column_name
    Is the name of the column in table_name that holds the document type of column_name. Specify type_column_name only if the column or columns of column_name are of type varbinary(max) or image

    TYPE COLUMN may be of data type char, nchar, varchar or nvarchar. For more information about full-text supported file formats and indexing data stored in varbinary(max) columns, see Full-Text Search Filters.

  • LANGUAGE language_term
    Is the language of the data stored in column_name.

    language_term is optional and can be specified as a string, integer, or hexadecimal value corresponding to the locale identifier (LCID) of a language. If language_term is specified, the language it represents will be applied to all elements of the search condition. If no value is specified, the default full-text language of the SQL Server instance is used.

    Use the sp_configure stored procedure to access information about the default full-text language of the SQL Server instance. For more information, see default full-text language Option.

    When specified as a string, language_term corresponds to the alias column value in the syslanguages system table. The string must be enclosed in single quotation marks, as in 'language_term'. When specified as an integer, language_term is the actual LCID that identifies the language. When specified as a hexadecimal value, language_term is 0x followed by the hex value of the LCID. The hex value must not exceed eight digits, including leading zeros.

    If the value is in double-byte character set (DBCS) format, SQL Server will convert it to Unicode.

    Resources, such as wordbreakers and stemmers, must be enabled for the language specified as language_term. If such resources do not support the specified language, SQL Server returns an error.

    For non-BLOB and non-XML columns containing text data in multiple languages, or for cases when the language of the text stored in the column is unknown, use the neutral (0x0) language resource. For documents stored in XML- or BLOB-type columns, the language encoding within the document will be used at indexing time. For example, in XML columns, the xml:lang attribute in XML documents will identify the language. At query time, the value previously specified in language_term becomes the default language used for full-text queries unless language_term is specified as part of a full-text query.

  • [ ,...n]
    Indicates that multiple columns may be specified for the ADD or DROP clauses. When multiple columns are specified, separate these columns with commas.
    Specifies that the full-text index will not be populated after the ADD or DROP column operation. The index will only be populated if the user executes a START...POPULATION command.

    If CHANGE_TRACKING is enabled and WITH NO POPULATION is specified, SQL Server returns an error. If CHANGE_TRACKING is enabled and WITH NO POPULATION is not specified, SQL Server performs a full population on the index after it is created.

    The NO POPULATION option can be used only when CHANGE_TRACKING is OFF. When NO POPULATION is specified, SQL Server does not populate an index after it is created. The index is populated only after the user gives an ALTER FULLTEXT INDEX...START POPULATION command. When NO POPULATION is not specified, SQL Server populates the index after it is created.

    Tells SQL Server to begin population of the full-text index of table_name. If a full-text index population is already in progress, SQL Server returns a warning and does not start a new population.
    • FULL
      Specifies that every row of the table be retrieved for full-text indexing even if the rows have already been indexed.
      Specifies that only the modified rows since the last population be retrieved for full-text indexing. INCREMENTAL can be applied only if the table has a column of the type timestamp. If a table in the full-text catalog does not contain a column of the type timestamp, the table undergoes a FULL population.
    • UPDATE
      Specifies the processing of all insertions, updates, or deletions since the last time the change-tracking index was updated. Change-tracking population must be enabled on a table, but the background update index or the auto change tracking should not be turned on.
    Stops, or pauses any population in progress; or stops or resumes any paused population.

    STOP POPULATION does not stop auto change tracking or background update index. To stop change tracking, use SET CHANGE_TRACKING OFF.

    PAUSE POPULATION and RESUME POPULATION can only be used for full populations. They are not relevant to other population types because the other populations resume crawls from where the crawl stopped.


When instances of xml data type data are indexed for full-text search, the attributes and element names are not indexed and cannot be queried; however, element values can be indexed and queried in each instance. Well-formed XML documents and fragments containing multiple languages are supported.


The user must have ALTER permission on the table or view, or be a member of the sysadmin fixed server role, or the db_ddladmin or db_owner fixed database roles.


The following example modifies the full-text index in the JobCandidate table of the AdventureWorks database.

USE AdventureWorks;

See Also



Other Resources

Full-Text Search

Help and Information

Getting SQL Server 2005 Assistance

Change History

Release History

12 December 2006

New content:
  • Added PAUSE | RESUME POPULATION options to the syntax.