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Short Reference

DELETE ${ itab_line $| itab_lines $| duplicates $}.


This statement either deletes a line itab_line or multiple lines itab_lines, which can be specified using a table key or a table index, or it deletes adjacent duplicate lines duplicates.

System Fields

sy-subrc Meaning
0 At least one line was deleted.
4 No lines were deleted, since no appropriate line was found when deleting using a table key or when specifying a logical expression, the index specified when deleting using a table index was greater than the current number of lines, or no duplicate adjacent lines were found.

The system field sy-tabix is not set.


  • Deleting lines of internal tables using DELETE does not usually release any memory in the internal table. Statements such as CLEAR or FREE must be used to release this memory.
  • An internal table in which all lines have been deleted with DELETE is usually not an initial internal table.
  • When deleting lines in an internal table, costs are incurred for updating all existing table keys and table indexes. The primary key and all unique secondary keys are updated directly, whereas non-unique secondary keys are only updated if the lines to be deleted are contained within an updated part of a relevant index (lazy update). When deleting a line from a standard table and the line is found using a secondary key, the primary table index in particular must be updated, which usually requires a linear search.

  • There is no implicit selection of a suitable key or index. The used table key or table index is always specified uniquely. The syntax check issues a warning if there is a suitable secondary table key but this table key is not used. This warning should be removed through using the key. However, in exceptional cases, it can be bypassed using a pragma.


Deletion of all initial lines of an internal table.


Catchable Exceptions


  • Cause: Error in a dynamic WHERE condition
    Runtime Error: DYN_WHERE_PARSE_ERROR

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