Dropping Datafiles

You use the DROP DATAFILE and DROP TEMPFILE clauses of the ALTER TABLESPACE command to drop a single datafile or tempfile. The datafile must be empty. (A datafile is considered to be empty when no extents remain allocated from it.) When you drop a datafile or tempfile, references to the datafile or tempfile are removed from the data dictionary and control files, and the physical file is deleted from the file system or Automatic Storage Management (ASM) disk group.

The following example drops the datafile identified by the alias example_df3.f in the ASM disk group DGROUP1. The datafile belongs to the example tablespace.


The next example drops the tempfile lmtemp02.dbf, which belongs to the lmtemp tablespace.

ALTER TABLESPACE lmtemp DROP TEMPFILE '/u02/oracle/data/lmtemp02.dbf';

This is equivalent to the following statement:

ALTER DATABASE TEMPFILE '/u02/oracle/data/lmtemp02.dbf' DROP 

See Oracle Database SQL Language Reference for ALTER TABLESPACE syntax details.

Restrictions for Dropping Datafiles

The following are restrictions for dropping datafiles and tempfiles:

  • The database must be open.

  • If a datafile is not empty, it cannot be dropped.

    If you must remove a datafile that is not empty and that cannot be made empty by dropping schema objects, you must drop the tablespace that contains the datafile.

  • You cannot drop the first or only datafile in a tablespace.

    This means that DROP DATAFILE cannot be used with a bigfile tablespace.

  • You cannot drop datafiles in a read-only tablespace.

  • You cannot drop datafiles in the SYSTEM tablespace.

  • If a datafile in a locally managed tablespace is offline, it cannot be dropped.