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Don Burleson Blog 







Oracle Drop Datafile

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonFebruary 7,  2015

In Oracle datafiles cannot simply be dropped, like a tablespace or schema for example, but there are other techniques you can use to "drop" or remove a datafile.

If the datafile you wish to drop is the only datafile present in the tablespace in which it resides, you can simply drop the tablespace with the following command:


Please Note: Dropping a tablespace will result in the removal of the tablespace, any datafiles presents, and any other tablespace contents. Be sure that you have a full backup if you wish to have the ability to recover any data in the tablespace. If other datafiles you wish to keep reside in the tablespace, it will be necessary to export them prior to dropping the tablespace.

Once the tablespace has been dropped, you can then physically remove the datafile from your system using an operating system command, if you so choose.

Dropping a datafile and physically removing it is not normally used to save space, as disk space is cheap. Normally it is not necessary to physically remove the datafile. If this is the case, you can simply take the datafile offline with the following command:


This command will not drop the datafile, it will simply take the datafile offline and Oracle will no longer attempt to access it. Offlining the datafile is typically used when your intention is to drop the tablespace. This will also give you the ability to recover the datafile at a later date.




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