Delete Data or Log Files from a Database

APPLIES TO: yesSQL Server noAzure SQL Database noAzure SQL Data Warehouse noParallel Data Warehouse

This topic describes how to delete data or log files in SQL Server 2017 by using SQL Server Management Studio or Transact-SQL.

In This Topic

Before You Begin


  • A file must be empty before it can be deleted. For more information, see Shrink a File.



Requires ALTER permission on the database.

Using SQL Server Management Studio

To delete data or log files from a database

  1. In Object Explorer, connect to an instance of the SQL Server Database Engine and then expand that instance.

  2. Expand Databases, right-click the database from which to delete the file, and then click Properties.

  3. Select the Files page.

  4. In the Database files grid, select the file to delete and then click Remove.

  5. Click OK.

We are listening: If you find something outdated or incorrect in this article, such as a step or a code example, please tell us. You can click the This page button in the Feedback section at the bottom of this page. We read every item of feedback about SQL, typically the next day. Thanks.

Using Transact-SQL

To delete data or log files from a database

  1. Connect to the Database Engine.

  2. From the Standard bar, click New Query.

  3. Copy and paste the following example into the query window and click Execute. This example removes the file test1dat4.

USE master;
ALTER DATABASE AdventureWorks2012
REMOVE FILE test1dat4;

For more examples, see ALTER DATABASE File and Filegroup Options (Transact-SQL).

See Also

Shrink a Database
Add Data or Log Files to a Database