I have two large SharePoint site collections hosted in large content database with size 330 GB in SharePoint 2013.

This large database is hosting one site collection with space 150GB.

I want to remove this 150GB site permanently and need to reclaim the space from this large content database as I have copy of the site in other backup content database.

Is it recommended to reclaim the unused space from this large content database in production environment.

will performance issues be encountered?


  • You should be running SQL maintenance including backups regularly. If not you really need to consider it otherwise your SQL instance will begin degrading in performance until it stops working depending on how your logs are setup (full vs simple recovery).
    – Jay
    Jun 14, 2018 at 2:15

2 Answers 2


Generally if you're looking to reclaim whitespace in a database you don't want to do it unless there is a significant amount of free space you need to reclaim -- in this case, it certainly looks justified.

You will want to consider leaving some whitespace, 5 - 10% for future growth purposes. You will also want to perform a reindex procedure post-shrink as the indexes are heavily fragmented during this process.


Since SharePoint Server 2007 (and WSS 3.0), SharePoint has something called Gradual Site Deletion. The reason is that directly deleting huge sites from the Content Database would block the database access (and thereby functionality of SharePoint sites that are located in the same Content Database) for quite some time, as potentially millions of table rows will have to be removed.

So what SharePoint does when "deleting" a site (collection) using the Central Administration (or PowerShell with the right switches) is to just remove the site from the available sites in the Configuration Database and to add an entry in the Configuration Database in some sort of queue of sites to delete.

A TimerJob called Gradual Site Delete is running daily (if not configured otherwise) to go through that queue and to delete the marked sites in small batches of row deletions, which is not as heavy on the load as an instant deletion would be.

After the site is completely deleted by the TimerJob, the space should also be shown in SQL Manager for the Content Database as being available/unused.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.