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Posted 9 Jun 2006
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How to Truncate Log File in SQL Server 2005

, 9 Jun 2006
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How to truncate log file in SQL Server 2005
Sample Image - shrink.jpg


SQL Server 2005 is quite different from SQL Server 2000. To truncate log file is one thing which is different from SQL Server 2000. In SQL Server 2000, you just use Shrink to whatever file size you like. In SQL Server 2005, sometimes I cannot shrink the log file at all.

Here I want to describe some tricks to truncate log file for a database in SQL Server 2005. The work environment is Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio.

I. Shrink the Log File Size at the Right Time

I found out this trick:

Immediately after I use the SSIS package or Import the data to the database (highlight the database->Tasks->Import data …), or Export the data from the database (highlight the database->Tasks->Export data …), I can shrink the log file to the desired size, for example, 1MB. That is, highlight the database->Tasks->Shrink->Files , set the file size, say, 1MB.

Then, click OK and you are done.

II. Eliminate the Log File Completely

Sometimes, we just do not need the big log file. For example, I have a 40GB log file. I am sure I do not need this log file and want to get rid of it completely to free up the hard drive space. The logic is:

  1. Detach the database
  2. Rename the log file
  3. Attach the database without the log file
  4. Delete the log file

Let’s say, the database name is testDev. In the SQL Server Management Studio,

  1. Highlight the database-> Tasks->Detach..-> Click OK
  2. Go to log file folder -> rename the testDev_log.ldf to be like testDev_log-aa.ldf
  3. Highlight Databases->Attach…-> Click Add -> add the database testDev, highlight the log file and click the ‘Remove’ button. This means you only attach testDev.mdf
  4. After this is done, you can verify the contents of the attached database and then delete the log file

This way we can safely delete the log file and free up the space.

If you think this is very helpful, please leave your comments online. If you have any questions or suggestions, please email me at

Happy SQLing!


  • 9th June, 2006: Initial post


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author
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Databases (SQL Server and Oracle) and No-SQL Databases
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Comments and Discussions

Questionانتا خارق Pin
Ahmed F Salameh10-Mar-14 0:43
memberAhmed F Salameh10-Mar-14 0:43 
General[My vote of 1] My vote of 1 Pin
muzzi_w7-Feb-13 14:35
membermuzzi_w7-Feb-13 14:35 
QuestionVery Helpful Pin
Jacky_kooboobird5-Jun-12 18:06
memberJacky_kooboobird5-Jun-12 18:06 
QuestionMy vote is 5 Pin
mohamad yousef14-Feb-12 21:29
membermohamad yousef14-Feb-12 21:29 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Trong Thao3-Dec-10 18:42
memberTrong Thao3-Dec-10 18:42 
Generalshrinking log file in SQL2005 Pin
Okeola Mudashiru22-Oct-10 15:58
memberOkeola Mudashiru22-Oct-10 15:58 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pin
blackr2d20-Apr-10 0:23
memberblackr2d20-Apr-10 0:23 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 Pin
faisalcode4-Jun-10 12:52
memberfaisalcode4-Jun-10 12:52 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 Pin
blackr2d5-Jul-10 23:49
memberblackr2d5-Jul-10 23:49 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 Pin
shresthadk@hotmail.com4-Aug-10 17:29
membershresthadk@hotmail.com4-Aug-10 17:29 
QuestionHow to create Folder or File Name with Space ? Pin
Golden Jing22-Dec-09 1:08
memberGolden Jing22-Dec-09 1:08 
GeneralThis is not the way to shrink the file Pin
junk qwe23-Nov-09 13:34
memberjunk qwe23-Nov-09 13:34 
GeneralThanks Pin
Member 66136623-Oct-09 7:49
memberMember 66136623-Oct-09 7:49 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pin
Jon Kehayias9-Sep-09 18:39
memberJon Kehayias9-Sep-09 18:39 
Jon Kehayias9-Sep-09 18:32
memberJon Kehayias9-Sep-09 18:32 
GeneralVery helpful Pin
lingli2004-Sep-09 10:10
memberlingli2004-Sep-09 10:10 
GeneralRe: Very helpful Pin
Jon Kehayias9-Sep-09 18:36
memberJon Kehayias9-Sep-09 18:36 
GeneralRe: Very helpful Pin
PeaceTiger15-Mar-10 3:45
memberPeaceTiger15-Mar-10 3:45 
GeneralThank U. Pin
>FLY<</xml>14-Aug-09 1:42
member>FLY<</xml>14-Aug-09 1:42 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pin
Howard Richards22-Jul-09 6:54
memberHoward Richards22-Jul-09 6:54 
GeneralThanks Pin
abii44427-May-09 9:09
memberabii44427-May-09 9:09 
WilliamAPP7-May-09 6:21
memberWilliamAPP7-May-09 6:21 
GeneralThanks Pin
ohnmartun25-Oct-08 6:25
memberohnmartun25-Oct-08 6:25 
GeneralDetaching and deleting the log is definitely not advisable Pin
ButtonMoon8-Apr-08 13:18
memberButtonMoon8-Apr-08 13:18 
GeneralThanks to all contributers [modified] Pin
Taner Riffat10-Sep-07 20:20
memberTaner Riffat10-Sep-07 20:20 

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