We have a large content database with 200 GB space in SP 2013 and it consists of two large site collections with 100 GB space each.

We plan to permanently delete one site collection of size 100GB in content database, with running gradual delete timer job manually.

Post deletion, I believe we can not reclaim the free space from content database.

We need to reclaim the space, so is database shrink operation recommended in this case and what would be the performance impacts?

Are there any other ways to reclaim the unused/free/white space from content database with Microsoft recommended limits?

1 Answer 1


Only way to reclaim disk space is to make database data file or database log file smaller, i.e., shrink them. Unless you have scheduled shrinking maintenance operation, or you have automatic shrink enabled on the database, the files won't get smaller even if you remove content from SharePoint.

Shrinking operation itself is usually a quick procedure. However, you may not be able to shrink the file all the way down to 100 GB without also reorganizing pages (option on the shrink dialog). This may take long (tens of minutes) and cause downtime, so make sure you do it during scheduled maintenance break. It won't show any progress of the reorganizing or shrinking process, so you just have to sit and wait and hope for the best.

Obviously, have full backup of the DB before starting the shrink operation.

Also note that you can move the one site collection to a separate DB using Move-SPSite <http://ServerName/Sites/SiteName> -DestinationDatabase <DestinationContentDb>

  • thanks for the answer. Are there any performance impacts on the sharepoint server farm post shrinking the database? Is this shrink operation recommended?
    – kumar
    Dec 7, 2017 at 14:12
  • Shrinking has zero impact on performance, and only affects the DB maintenance operations, such as backup size. If you care about the DB size, go ahead and shrink, but end users won't see any difference.
    – Jussi Palo
    Dec 7, 2017 at 14:23
  • 1
    @Jussi I vaguely remember reading something about shrinking a database causing fragmentation, which, if true, could degrade the performance. Unless, indexes are rebuilt. Dec 7, 2017 at 18:05
  • Good correction, thanks, so shrinking may have some impact on performance unless you rebuild indexes after shrink operation. In real life scenario such as this, I'm 100% sure end users won't notice any difference, though. Details here: technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms189080(v=sql.105).aspx
    – Jussi Palo
    Dec 8, 2017 at 7:26

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