Shrinking a geodatabase on a database server

Over time, as data is deleted and added, the data files within your geodatabases may break into increasingly smaller, scattered fragments. This can cause performance degradation because queries have to scan an increasing number of separate files to access the data the first time it is queried or when it is updated. To correct this, you can shrink geodatabases stored in SQL Server Express. Shrinking the geodatabase rearranges how the database is stored on disk, reducing the size of the data files.

You should not need to shrink your geodatabases very often. In fact, doing so can be detrimental: a shrink operation can increase index fragmentation in the database.

In addition, if you find that the geodatabase size increases to its preshrunk state shortly after you shrink it, it means the space that you shrank is required for regular operations; therefore, the shrink operation was not needed. To determine the size of the database, right-click it, click Properties, then click the Administration tab. The size is shown in the General section.

If you find your geodatabase in SQL Server Express is getting close to its size limit of 4 GB, follow these steps to shrink the database and possibly gain some extra storage space.

  1. Log in as a server administrator or geodatabase administrator, start ArcMap, then open the Catalog window.
  2. Double-click the database server that contains the geodatabase you want to shrink.

    This connects you to the database server.

  3. Right-click the geodatabase, click Administration, then click Geodatabase Maintenance.
  4. Check Shrink geodatabase on the Geodatabase Maintenance dialog box.
  5. Click OK.