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 unallocated vs unused space
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Posting Yak Master

United Kingdom
180 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2013 :  10:11:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi all,

I'm running out of space on my SQL Server box.

One of the large databases has 50% unallocated space and 1% unused space in the data file.

Can anyone tell me what the difference between unallocated and unused space is?

If I shrink the data file, can I get this 50% space back?

Or will a shrink only act on the 1% unused space?


Almighty SQL Goddess

38200 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2013 :  10:54:36  Show Profile  Visit tkizer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yes you can get the space back if you shrink the data file. The unallocated space is space you can reclaim, basically free space. Unused space is reserved space that is not yet used. Data that has been deleted but not yet cleaned up by the ghost cleanup process will fall into that bucket.

Tara Kizer
SQL Server MVP since 2007
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