I see an increasing amount of:

Line 0: Execution Timeout Expired. The timeout period elapsed prior to completion of the operation or the server is not responding.

errors (screenshot) on SEDE due to SE data size increasing over time, and there doesn't exist any easy way to run SEDE locally.

Request: Increase max SEDE query running time.

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    Is this occasional, periodic or just a one-off, do you recon?
    – W.O.
    Commented Jun 21 at 20:06
  • @W.O. depends, but often occasional. Commented Jun 21 at 20:08
  • If you are consistently writing queries that are just wasting the server’s resources because they don’t finish, maybe you could consider loading the data dump onto your own server, where you can happily use whatever timeouts you want (or none). Commented Jun 22 at 11:20
  • @testing-ma-lady Thanks, How can I run SEDE queries on my computer?. Note that it has 2 downsides: SE dumps are only updated quarterly, and are ~80GB (ie, also takes some server resources). Commented Jun 22 at 19:19
  • Bad idea, this will just overload the limited resources used for SEDE and in the long run might make SE simply ditch it. They are not required to maintain SEDE, they're doing it out of good will, which appears to run more and more thin as time goes by. Commented Jun 23 at 14:52
  • @ShadowWizard By that logic, any post here is pointless as SE is not required to maintain this site. Commented Jun 23 at 15:24
  • hehe, well they did consider shutting down this site, you know. And it still might happen in the future. But until then, we can keep trying. Commented Jun 23 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


The question is: By how much seconds does it need to increase?

I would be very hesitant with allowing a very scarce resource to be over-utilized by both anonymous and registered users. I strongly believe increasing the allowed run-time has the potential to make the overall experience worse for all users.

A badly designed query can not be salvaged by throwing more CPU and IO at it. A badly designed query needs a better execution plan (prefer seek over scan). I'm told storage space is not much of a concern. As such adding an index to help a slow query is a better approach because that index is likely to help more queries run with less resources. And there is a lot to win as shown by my previous request: Can we exchange one index for another one?

If you aren't able to analyze and/or improve a query on your own you can ask for query improvements in SEDE chat, on Meta or even on Database Administrators or Code Review. The latter two sites expect more effort on your end with expert knowledge in return.

  • Thanks, some of your queries have started to time out too by the way. Anyway if CPU is so scarce, that'd be good to have an offline solution to be able to run SEDE queries on one's desktop). Commented Jun 23 at 15:26
  • There already is an offline solution: the data-dump on your own server.
    – rene
    Commented Jun 23 at 15:41
  • How to run SEDE queries on it? Commented Jun 23 at 15:41
  • You download the data-dump from the internet archive and the load the XML files in your local SqlServer (or SqlExpress) instance and then copy the query text from SEDE to a new query window in SQLServer Management Studio and click Run (or press F5)
    – rene
    Commented Jun 23 at 15:46
  • Thanks, how to load the XML files in my local SqlServer/SqlExpress so that it matches the SEDE schema? Commented Jun 23 at 15:52
  • See the duplicate on your other question: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/400870
    – rene
    Commented Jun 23 at 15:55
  • SODDI seems deprecated. Are there any solution to load the XML files in my local SqlServer/SqlExpress so that it matches the SEDE schema, aside from coding it myself? Commented Jun 23 at 16:01
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    Sql Server supports that format out of the box with its client tools: learn.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/relational-databases/…
    – rene
    Commented Jun 23 at 16:13
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    btw, some of my queries pre-dates recent improvements, i.e: data.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/query/… (based of meta.stackexchange.com/a/399304)
    – rene
    Commented Jun 23 at 16:15

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