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I want to run exactly this command:

DBCC SHRINKDATABASE mydb

When I run this just for a while and then kill it, will the physical database file be a little bit smaller?

In other words: Does the command immediatedly free physical disk space during its run, or does it first a full reorganization, and only then free all physical space?

EDIT: We have simple recovery model, so our log file is very small and we only have one big database file.

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DBCC SHRINKDATABASE does not rollback when the process is killed so theoretically you'd be able to run it for a period of a time, kill the process, and have some reclaimed space (assuming there is any that can be reclaimed). See this for more information.

Also please see and research the warnings I provided against shrinking in my answer to your other StackExchange question.

...[it's] heavy operations, generally nonsensical to do because if they grew to a certain size they'll likely grow back to that size soon anyway and a growth operation is also heavy, and shrinking any database files (except Temporary) does have a small risk of data corruption.

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  • Thanks for the 1st paragraph. The 2nd paragraph does not apply to us. We had an abnormal operation which wasted space.
    – askolotl
    Commented Dec 14, 2020 at 12:24
  • @askolotl No problem. I've been there (abnormal space wasting operation) and the experts still provided me the same warnings I'm passing on to you. I would be lying if I didn't say I still used the occasional shrink once in a blue moon anyway, but it's still important to be aware of the warnings, especially with potential data loss when shrinking the MDF.
    – J.D.
    Commented Dec 14, 2020 at 12:42

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