My client uses SharePoint 2016 on prem. The last couple of months they started using third party software that send client files to one SharePoint library. For each client, a sub folder is created in this mentioned document library and the files uploaded in the relevant sub folders. This caused the document library to grew to 18000 files. (Containing a large amount of sub folders)

The problem they are experiencing is that when they upload a file now to one of those sub folders, it takes forever to upload it. The same when they set the properties as well as check-in.

Could it be that the contend DB is to large (it is 200Gb) or that the SQL server is running out of resources to handle these type of activities?

What is the suggested going forward from this? If I need to split the library, maybe move it to a different content DB - will it result in a new site collection?

Edited: I found the problem, the said document library has a workflow on it. The service bus message broker stopped working. I did a leave and join with the workflow manager and it is uploading files. However, I'd still like to know how to proceed with this large document library and big Content Database.

  • SharePoint Document Library Supports 30,000,000 documents Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 13:55

2 Answers 2


According to Microsoft a content database bigger than 200GB is not always recommended:

Content database size (general usage scenarios) 200 GB per content database Supported We strongly recommended limiting the size of content databases to 200 GB, except when the circumstances in the following rows in this table apply. If you are using Remote BLOB Storage (RBS), the total volume of remote BLOB storage and metadata in the content database must not exceed the 200GB limit.

Other excerpts: Requirements for backup and restore may not be met by the native SharePoint Server 2016 backup for content databases larger than 200 GB. It is recommended to evaluate and test SharePoint Server 2016 backup and alternative backup solutions to determine the best solution for your specific environment.

  • Is there a possible suggestion on how I can add another content db? Or does it only come with a new site collection?
    – Heste
    Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 18:04

A single site collection can only reside in one content db and cannot be split across multiple content dbs. I would suggest check the list view threshold and limit to the acceptable limit and also you can use filtering and grouping on the list to avoid throttling issue.

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