How do I determine if a table exists in a SQL Server database in SQL Server 2008?

3 Answers 3


If you query the sysobjects table, with a query like

SELECT * FROM sysobjects WHERE xtype = 'U' AND name = 'yourTableName'

xtype = 'U' is a user table

you can then wrap this is an IF EXISTS statement

IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM sysobjects ...)
    ' do your stuff here if it exists
  • 5
    +1 It is important to note that Microsoft has been moving functionality like this to Dynamic Management Views (DMVs) since SQL Server 2005. This will technically work, but Microsoft now recommends using the sys.tables DMV for this. IF EXISTS(SELECT * FROM sys.tables WHERE type = 'U' AND name = 'yourTableName'). Functionally, your statement and my statement do the exact same thing. Just wanted to mention DMVs. To learn more about DMVs, check out the documentation msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/library/ms188754%28v=SQL.105%29.aspx
    – Matt M
    Jan 27, 2011 at 13:12
  • That's a good call Matt. Old habits die hard :-) Yours is the better way.
    – Miles D
    Jan 27, 2011 at 15:02
  • 1
    I'm not sure if it makes much difference but I'd favour IF EXISTS (SELECT 1 FROM sys.tables...) Aug 3, 2011 at 20:06
  • @DavidHayes Yes, I guess this solution is faster because it does not query to find column names.
    – Xriuk
    Feb 4, 2018 at 18:19

Here is one more way of finding it

IF OBJECT_ID('tablename') IS NULL
PRINT 'Table Does not Exist'
  • Nice and simple, no need to query complex system tables. Thanks! Nov 29, 2016 at 14:45
  • 2
    Wouldn't that detect, for example, views of the same name? Perhaps stored procedures and such as well?
    – MarioDS
    Dec 21, 2016 at 14:24
  • Not if you schema qualify the object. Jan 11, 2018 at 20:46
           WHERE TABLE_NAME = 'your table name here')
  PRINT 'Table Exists'

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