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Oracle databases have functioned as an industry standard for quite some time now. One of the keys to Oracle’s success lies in the ability of the software to function for companies and operations of a variety of sizes. However, because of the variety of parameters that can be customized to fit your needs, sometimes errors can arise when overlooking them in the process of working in your database. The ORA-01652 error falls under this domain, the product of default tablespace size parameters not always initially meeting the demands of your data.


The ORA-01652 error concerns a failure in allocating the extent for the temp segment in the tablespace. The temp segment refers to a temporary tablespace used internally by the Oracle database for the function of certain operations, such as joins. Often what occurs is that you may be pulling data from records that are quite extensive, and while you may have properly adjusted your tablespace to accommodate this, the temp tablespace size is left unmodified.

To check for this, search the free block from temp tablespace. If it reads as ‘0’, you will know this is the cause. If you run this and find that there is a significant amount of space remaining, the error could be thrown due to the local temp segment failing to extend space even though other instances contain enough space.


The primary solution to an ORA-01652 error revolves around increasing the size of the temp tablespace. While you could create a new data file, it is recommended to just simply extend the existing space.

To do this, first execute “SELECT * From DBA_DATA_FILES;” in order to determine the name of the file for the tablespace. You can then extend the size by replacing the file name with the name from the aforementioned query, and entering the “ALTER TABLESPACE ADD DATAFILE” command prompt in Oracle. You can input the size you wish to extend the table via this command as well.

To resolve the error when it seems space exists, you need to use a query to pull space from individual instances. Issue the command ‘select,, tablespace_name, total_blocks, used_blocks, free_blocks from gv$sort_segment;’ to find out how much temp segment space you have available to use. If free_blocks regularly shows as ‘0’, you will know that the free space for the table has been requested from other instances, which can slow down the data process. To fix this, increase the size of the temp tablespace or increase the sort_area_size or the pga_aggregate_target.

Looking forward

The ORA-01652 can be a tricky error to resolve and can occur without much prior notice. However, keeping aware of the limits to your data parameters in conjunction with the size of the data that you are using can go a long way in not just preventing an ORA-01652, but several other data limit errors as well. If you find that you are having difficulties sorting through some of the various parameters or in managing your tables, contact a licensed Oracle consultant to request additional help on the subject.