Sql-server – How to remove duplicate rows

duplicatessql-servertsql

What is the best way to remove duplicate rows from a fairly large SQL Server table (i.e. 300,000+ rows)?

The rows, of course, will not be perfect duplicates because of the existence of the RowID identity field.

MyTable

RowID int not null identity(1,1) primary key,
Col1 varchar(20) not null,
Col2 varchar(2048) not null,
Col3 tinyint not null

Best Solution

Assuming no nulls, you GROUP BY the unique columns, and SELECT the MIN (or MAX) RowId as the row to keep. Then, just delete everything that didn't have a row id:

DELETE FROM MyTable
LEFT OUTER JOIN (
   SELECT MIN(RowId) as RowId, Col1, Col2, Col3 
   FROM MyTable 
   GROUP BY Col1, Col2, Col3
) as KeepRows ON
   MyTable.RowId = KeepRows.RowId
WHERE
   KeepRows.RowId IS NULL

In case you have a GUID instead of an integer, you can replace

MIN(RowId)

with

CONVERT(uniqueidentifier, MIN(CONVERT(char(36), MyGuidColumn)))