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Learn How to Fix Missing Indexes in SQL Server – Get Missing Data Back

Published By Nilesh Kumar
Debasish Pramanik
Approved By Debasish Pramanik
Published On July 31st, 2023
Reading Time 8 Minutes Reading
Category SQL Server

We all know how diverse this SQL server is & how big the user base it is managing. However, there are always some loopholes that are left behind & users are searching for answers for the same. Missing indexes SQL server 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016, & 2017 is one such query. Thus, we’re going to provide users with accurate yet simplistic answers now.

We need to first learn what actually is a missing query. Following that, we can say that indexes provide directions to the server to provide faster results after a query. SQL servers use an index to process the query. When the server is unable to find the index, it tries to seek the answer in different indexes. Hence, when the server can’t find the index to process queries faster, we say we have a missing index.

In this article, we’re going to look at the challenges that users face because of SQL Server missing indexes with the causes. Moreover, we are going to mention the automated & manual methods to get back missing indexes. In addition, the solution we’ll list can also recover deleted table from SQL server easily.

Missing Indexes SQL Server 2017, 2016, 2014, 2012 & 2008 Critical Challenges

Users face various issues due to missing indexes & below are the most common reasons mentioned for the same. If you’re facing the same issues, then you may also face this problem.

  • Slow Server Operations
    The SQL server gets slow & process users’ query at a very slow rate. This, for sure, creates chaos for users. They can experience a major difference in the performance & efficiency of the server in such cases.
  • Unable to Access Database
    Several users have reported that they weren’t able to open MDF files of their SQL server. This issue of missing indexes may cause several files unable to access by the end-users.
  • Unorganized Data Objects
    Missing indexes can cause an unorganized structure of database objects. This is why users want to learn how to find missing indexes in SQL server 2017 & other versions like 2016, 2014, 2012, and 2008.

How to Get Missing Indexes in SQL server 2016, 2017, Etc – Crux of the Matter

Let’s understand the crux of the matter now. We can say that there are plenty of reasons that make users end up in such scenarios. However, the major causes are mentioned below in-depth to make users capable enough to prevent such events in the future. We’re hoping that you guys can easily solve SQL Server missing indexes issue after learning these causes.

Accidental Deletion of Data Files
Users accidentally delete their data files due to confusion & then do not even realize how this tiny issue will cause such troubles for them later.

MDF and NDF File Corruption
There are times when users face suspect database in SQL server issue which means having corrupted database files. Users have to solve this corruption anyhow.

Oversized MDF Data Files
Oversizing of the database files also causes such issues. Your indexes may get in trouble if stored in such oversized data files.

Manual Method to Find Missing Indexes in SQL Server 2012 & 2014 Issues

Now users must be willing to get a solution to get back their missing indexes. So yes, we are here to provide you with both manual & automated solutions. However, this solution has several limitations in it that we are going to discuss in the next section.

Users need to run the below-mentioned command to execute the entire operation manually.

SELECT migs.user_seeks as [Estimated Index Uses],
migs.avg_user_impact [Estimated Index Impact %],
migs.avg_total_user_cost [Estimated Avg Query Cost],
db_name(mid.database_id) AS DatabaseID,
OBJECT_SCHEMA_NAME (mid.OBJECT_ID,mid.database_id) AS [SchemaName], OBJECT_NAME(mid.OBJECT_ID,mid.database_id) AS [TableName],
OBJECT_NAME (mid.OBJECT_ID,mid.database_id)
REPLACE(REPLACE(REPLACE(ISNULL(mid.equality_columns, ''),', ','-'), '[',''),']','')
WHEN mid.equality_columns IS NOT NULL AND mid.inequality_columns IS NOT NULL
+ REPLACE(REPLACE(REPLACE(ISNULL(mid.inequality_columns,''),', ','-'), 'T', ''), ']','') + ']'
+ ISNULL (mid.equality_columns,'')
+ CASE WHEN mid.equality_columns IS NOT NULL AND mid.inequality_columns
+ ISNULL (mid.inequality_columns, "')
+ ISNULL ( INCLUDE (' + mid.included_columns +
ONLINE=?, SORT_IN_TEMPDB=?);', '') AS [Create TSQL],
FROM sys.dm_db_missing_index_group_stats AS migs WITH (NOLOCK)
INNER JOIN sys.dm_db_missing_index_groups AS mig WITH (NOLOCK) ON migs.group_handle = mig.index_group_handle
INNER JOIN sys.dm_db_missing_index_details AS mid WITH (NOLOCK) ON mig.index_handle = mid.index_handle

Once you successfully finish writing the codes mentioned above, you can easily learn how to fix missing indexes in SQL Server without any hassles. Carefully execute the commands as a wrong command may result in data loss.

Major Loopholes Present in the Manual Method

It’s time to discuss the drawbcaks present in the manual method that becomes a tough challenge to overcome. It can help users to make their decision regarding the selection of the ideal method for how to find missing indexes in SQL servers.

  • The manual solutions are not capable of recovering the deleted database objects.
  • Users can’t get multiple ways to export recovered data files to the desired location.
  • The manual method is very time taking. Evidently reduces efficiency & productivity.
  • Learning how to fix missing indexes in SQL server requires SQL server installation.
  • Users can’t repair the SQL server database corruption using this manual method.
  • Advance features & filters are not available here for users to speed up the operation.
  • New uses can’t execute the manual operation easily as it involves core technicalities.
  • The manual solution has an outdated GUI which confuses majority of new gen users.

How to Find Missing Indexes in SQL Server 2017, 2014, 2012 & 2008 Automatically

As we know that the manual method is full of critical drawbacks that trouble users to a greater extent. To solve such issues users are advised to rely on the automated solution. This solution involves the SQL Database Recovery Tool to find SQL missing indexes.

Download Now Purchase Now

Download the tool & follow the below-mentioned steps to automatically get back missing indexes without any trouble. This solution can easily get SQL Server missing indexes back.

Step-1. Open the Software & then Click on the Open button to add MDF files. 

step-1 missing indexes SQL server

Step-2. Select the Quick or Advanced Scan options as per the level of file corruption.


Step-3. Now Preview Data Objects & Select the Export option on the top. 


Step-4. Select Destination >> Data Files & then wait for a while to get accurate results.


Just want to Open missing indexes SQL server 2012, 2008, 2014, 2016 & 2017?

If your files are deleted or corrupted & you don’t want to repair or recover SQL server missing index, you don’t need to opt for this solution. For viewing purposes, SQL Database Viewer Software is the ideal choice for you. It can let you view the MDF files easily.

Download Now Purchase Now

Why & How Do I Get Missing Indexes SQL Server 2014 

Now, we must learn the capabilities of the automated method that can let users make their choice among the available solutions. Moreover, then we will end this article with our & some other IT experts’ advice. SQL Server missing indexes can be severe if not treated wisely.

  • It can recover indexes, tables, views, stored procedures, & other database objects.
  • The tool is capable of recovering the deleted, lost, and corrupted MDF & NDF files.
  • Users can export the recovered data files to the Server, CSV file & script file format.
  • It automatically detects the version of the SQL server & also offers the manual way.
  • This automated tool offers the Quick & Advance scan option for detecting corruption.
  • There is no need for users to install the SQL server to get the missing indexes back.

Bringing It All Together

If you’re facing similar issues that we discussed in the blog, you can consider the above-mentioned automated solution. The straight & simple answer to this is that the manual method isn’t that practical to learn how to find missing indexes in SQL Server databases. Moreover, it leaves a huge gap of threats that can easily mess up the data integrity. Hence, the automated tool is best for learning how to fix missing indexes in SQL server.

Users are advised to take a wise decision because one wrong step can wipe out their crucial data files. Experts suggest opting for a  universal solution for countering SQL missing index issues.

Therefore, the automated method is compatible with the majority of the SQL versions like 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2017. It is your decision that can either provide you with recovered indexes or swipe all the data permanently.

Also Read: SQL Query to Find Deleted Records in SQL Server Database