SQL SERVER – SOS_SCHEDULER_YIELD – Wait Type – Day 8 of 28

This is a very interesting wait type and quite often seen as one of the top wait types. Let us discuss this today.

From Book On-Line:

Occurs when a task voluntarily yields the scheduler for other tasks to execute. During this wait the task is waiting for its quantum to be renewed.


SQL Server has multiple threads, and the basic working methodology for SQL Server is that SQL Server does not let any “runnable” thread to starve. Now let us assume SQL Server OS is very busy running threads on all the scheduler. There are always new threads coming up which are ready to run (in other words, runnable). Thread management of the SQL Server is decided by SQL Server and not the operating system. SQL Server runs on non-preemptive mode most of the time, meaning the threads are co-operative and can let other threads to run from time to time by yielding itself. When any thread yields itself for another thread, it creates this wait. If there are more threads, it clearly indicates that the CPU is under pressure.

You can find the following DMV to see how many runnable task counts there are in your system.

SELECT scheduler_id, current_tasks_count, runnable_tasks_count, work_queue_count, pending_disk_io_count
FROM sys.dm_os_schedulers
WHERE scheduler_id < 255

If you notice a two-digit number in runnable_tasks_count continuously for long time (not once in a while), you will know that there is CPU pressure. The two-digit number is usually considered as a bad thing; you can read the description of the above DMV over here.

Additionally, there are several other counters (%Processor Time and other processor related counters), through which you can refer to so you can validate CPU pressure along with the method explained above.


This is the trickiest part of this procedure. As discussed, this particular wait type relates to CPU pressure. Increasing more CPU is the solution in simple terms; however, it is not easy to implement this solution. There are other things that you can consider when this wait type is very high. Here is the query where you can find the most expensive query related to CPU from the cache

Note: The query that used lots of resources but is not cached will not be caught here.

SELECT SUBSTRING(qt.TEXT, (qs.statement_start_offset/2)+1,
CASE qs.statement_end_offset
ELSE qs.statement_end_offset
END - qs.statement_start_offset)/2)+1),
qs.total_logical_reads, qs.last_logical_reads,
qs.total_logical_writes, qs.last_logical_writes,
qs.total_elapsed_time/1000000 total_elapsed_time_in_S,
qs.last_elapsed_time/1000000 last_elapsed_time_in_S,
FROM sys.dm_exec_query_stats qs
CROSS APPLY sys.dm_exec_sql_text(qs.sql_handle) qt
CROSS APPLY sys.dm_exec_query_plan(qs.plan_handle) qp
ORDER BY qs.total_worker_time DESC -- CPU time

You can find the most expensive queries that are utilizing lots of CPU (from the cache) and you can tune them accordingly. Moreover, you can find the longest running query and attempt to tune them if there is any processor offending code.

Additionally, pay attention to total_worker_time because if that is also consistently higher, then  the CPU under too much pressure.

You can also check perfmon counters of compilations as they tend to use good amount of CPU. Index rebuild is also a CPU intensive process but we should consider that main cause for this query because that is indeed needed on high transactions OLTP system utilized to reduce fragmentations.

Read all the post in the Wait Types and Queue series.

Note: The information presented here is from my experience and there is no way that I claim it to be accurate. I suggest reading Book OnLine for further clarification. All of the discussions of Wait Stats in this blog is generic and varies from system to system. It is recommended that you test this on a development server before implementing it to a production server.

Reference: Pinal Dave (https://blog.sqlauthority.com)

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17 Comments. Leave new

  • I’ve often observed SOS_SCHEDULER_YIELD as “last_wait_type” instead of “wait_type”, where a unique session is consuming 100% of 1 cpu for hours (due to stale stats incurring nested loops between huge tables).
    In this situation (no IO, lock, latch, network nor any other waits), SOS_SCHEDULER_YIELD is the only event waited on, which means… no wait all all, am I right ?

  • stanleyjohns
    July 14, 2011 1:32 am

    I had this wait recently on one of our systems. Clients were reporting slow responses from the server. Doing a DBCC freeproccache and a DBCC freesystemcache fixed the issue.

    • You basically cleared the cache from your system. Most likely there must be a bad execution plan which occasionally works good for few values out of the sproc, could also be issue of parameter sniffing.

  • Bhavisha Patel
    April 15, 2012 7:57 am

    I have same issue in production while running SSI sin for each loop which query million of rows. I am seeing this king of wait in “last wait type” session is showing Insert as running ststement but count in table is 0. As soon i as I kill session everthing start working as it should….Please suggest.

  • I have situation:
    SP work good from query, but not work from Excel (sos_scheduler_yield).

    I FOUND RESOLUTION !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    –> Just ReCreate this SP.

    But, I can’t explain this? Pinal?

  • I had the same situation and just fixed the issue by dropping and recreating the sp. what was behind ?

  • I had the same issue, and fixed by drop and create the sp
    how this can be explained ?

    • Instead of dropping the procedure or blowing away the cache, you could first try exec sp_recompile [storedProcedureName]; to recompile the execution plan. Sounds like a potential parameter sniffing matter on your proc or change in statistics for your table when a better plan could be reached. Overall, sounds like a bad execution plan.

  • prince rastogi
    March 20, 2013 9:28 pm

    Excessive CPU use may be the reason of Spinning and backoff..

  • Alankar Chakravorty
    March 22, 2015 2:26 pm

    Is there a way to find out on which database was the expensive query executed on when 1 SQL Server instance is serving multiple user databases?

    • have you looked into sys.dm_exec_query_stats

      • Alankar Chakravorty
        March 30, 2015 12:15 am

        Yes. I think the only way to pull out the database name on which the query has been execute is to do an inner join with sys.dm_exec_requests on session_id. But then it will only return the data when the SQL statement is executing.

        Not sure how to relate the high intensive queries with the databases when the queries have already completed execution.

        Until unless we know the database for which the queries have been executed, those heavy queries cannot be worked upon or further tuned to reduce the CPU utilization.

  • hello ,
    whenever i run select * from sys.sysprocessess for the same spid which i am running this query is having lastwait type as ASYNC_NETWORK_IO , is this a problem please suggest
    thanks in advance

    • You have to look at wait time along with wait type. I am guessing that this query is fetching large number of rows so it would be normal.

  • Dear Pinal,

    Have a question on Scheduler. In my case first 4 schedulers are having runnable task(sometimes double digit),But last 4 scheduler always be 0
    Why? Does it mean only 4 schedulers are being used? and rest are idle.


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