tempdb Database

The tempdb system database is a global resource that is available to all users connected to the instance of SQL Server and is used to hold the following:

  • Temporary user objects that are explicitly created, such as: global or local temporary tables, temporary stored procedures, table variables, or cursors.

  • Internal objects that are created by the SQL Server Database Engine, for example, work tables to store intermediate results for spools or sorting.

  • Row versions that are generated by data modification transactions in a database that uses read-committed using row versioning isolation or snapshot isolation transactions.

  • Row versions that are generated by data modification transactions for features, such as: online index operations, Multiple Active Result Sets (MARS), and AFTER triggers.

    Operations within tempdb are minimally logged. This enables transactions to be rolled back. tempdb is re-created every time SQL Server is started so that the system always starts with a clean copy of the database. Temporary tables and stored procedures are dropped automatically on disconnect, and no connections are active when the system is shut down. Therefore, there is never anything in tempdb to be saved from one session of SQL Server to another. Backup and restore operations are not allowed on tempdb.

Physical Properties of tempdb

The following table lists the initial configuration values of the tempdb data and log files. The sizes of these files may vary slightly for different editions of SQL Server.

File Logical name Physical name File growth
Primary data tempdev tempdb.mdf Autogrow by 10 percent until the disk is full
Log templog templog.ldf Autogrow by 10 percent to a maximum of 2 terabytes

The size of tempdb can affect the performance of a system. For example, if the tempdb size is too small, the system processing could be too occupied with autogrowing the database to support your workload requirement every time that you start SQL Server. You can avoid this overhead by increasing the size of tempdb.

Performance Improvements in tempdb

In SQL Server, tempdb performance is improved in the following ways:

  • Temporary tables and table variables may be cached. Caching allows operations that drop and create the temporary objects to execute very quickly and reduces page allocation contention.

  • Allocation page latching protocol is improved. This reduces the number of UP (update) latches that are used.

  • Logging overhead for tempdb is reduced. This reduces disk I/O bandwidth consumption on the tempdb log file.

  • The algorithm for allocating mixed pages in tempdb is improved.

Moving the tempdb Data and Log Files

To move the tempdb data and log files, see Move System Databases.

Database Options

The following table lists the default value for each database option in the tempdb database and whether the option can be modified. To view the current settings for these options, use the sys.databases catalog view.

Database option Default value Can be modified
ALLOW_SNAPSHOT_ISOLATION OFF Yes
ANSI_NULL_DEFAULT OFF Yes
ANSI_NULLS OFF Yes
ANSI_PADDING OFF Yes
ANSI_WARNINGS OFF Yes
ARITHABORT OFF Yes
AUTO_CLOSE OFF No
AUTO_CREATE_STATISTICS ON Yes
AUTO_SHRINK OFF No
AUTO_UPDATE_STATISTICS ON Yes
AUTO_UPDATE_STATISTICS_ASYNC OFF Yes
CHANGE_TRACKING OFF No
CONCAT_NULL_YIELDS_NULL OFF Yes
CURSOR_CLOSE_ON_COMMIT OFF Yes
CURSOR_DEFAULT GLOBAL Yes
Database Availability Options ONLINE

MULTI_USER

READ_WRITE
No

No

No
DATE_CORRELATION_OPTIMIZATION OFF Yes
DB_CHAINING ON No
ENCRYPTION OFF No
NUMERIC_ROUNDABORT OFF Yes
PAGE_VERIFY CHECKSUM for new installations of SQL Server.

NONE for upgrades of SQL Server.
Yes
PARAMETERIZATION SIMPLE Yes
QUOTED_IDENTIFIER OFF Yes
READ_COMMITTED_SNAPSHOT OFF No
RECOVERY SIMPLE No
RECURSIVE_TRIGGERS OFF Yes
Service Broker Options ENABLE_BROKER Yes
TRUSTWORTHY OFF No

For a description of these database options, see ALTER DATABASE SET Options (Transact-SQL).

Restrictions

The following operations cannot be performed on the tempdb database:

  • Adding filegroups.

  • Backing up or restoring the database.

  • Changing collation. The default collation is the server collation.

  • Changing the database owner. tempdb is owned by sa.

  • Creating a database snapshot.

  • Dropping the database.

  • Dropping the guest user from the database.

  • Enabling change data capture.

  • Participating in database mirroring.

  • Removing the primary filegroup, primary data file, or log file.

  • Renaming the database or primary filegroup.

  • Running DBCC CHECKALLOC.

  • Running DBCC CHECKCATALOG.

  • Setting the database to OFFLINE.

  • Setting the database or primary filegroup to READ_ONLY.

Permissions

Any user can create temporary objects in tempdb. Users can only access their own objects, unless they receive additional permissions. It is possible to revoke the connect permission to tempdb to prevent a user from using tempdb, but this is not recommended as some routine operations require the use of tempdb.

SORT_IN_TEMPDB Option For Indexes

System Databases

sys.databases (Transact-SQL)

sys.master_files (Transact-SQL)

Move Database Files

See Also

Working with tempdb in SQL Server 2005