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SQL Server DELETE Top Statement

In SQL Server, DELETE TOP statement is used to delete the records from a table and limit the number of records deleted regarding a fixed value or percentage.


Parameter explanation

table: It specifies a table that you want to delete records from.

WHERE conditions: It is optional. The conditions that must be met for the records to be deleted.

TOP (top_value): It is used to delete the top number of rows in the result set based on top_value. For example, TOP(10) would delete the top 10 rows matching the delete criteria.

PERCENT: It is optional. It is used to delete the percentage of of top rows. For example, TOP(10) PERCENT would delete the top 10% of the records matching the delete criteria.

DELETE using TOP keyword

TOP keyword is used with DELETE statement to delete the specified top rows of a table.


We have a table "Employees", having the following data.

SQL Delete top statement 1

Delete top 2 rows from the table "Employees" where salary is greater than or equal to 20000.


SQL Delete top statement 2

You can see that 2 rows are affected. Now see the output:


SQL Delete top statement 3

DELETE using TOP Percent Keyword

TOP percent keyword is used to delete the rows according to the percentage.


Delete TOP 25% rows from the table where salary is greater than 20000.

SQL Delete top statement

You can see that 3 rows are affected. 3 is exactly 25% of 12 which is the number of inserted rows.


SQL Delete top statement

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