A Sitecore utility module for analyzing and cleaning up your media library
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Shrink is a Sitecore utility module that gives you insight in the usage of your media library. Pretty much like a disk usage statistics viewer for your hard drives. But next to that, it also shows you which items are actually being used and published, so you can easily find media items that unnecessarily take up space in your database. And last but not least, it offers you multiple ways of cleaning up your media library!


I have been working on Sitecore projects for many years and we have multiple customers who saw their databases grow over the course of over 5 years of using their constantly evolving and upgraded Sitecore implementation. It's great that we can keep those platforms evolving and that we have sites running on Sitecore for this long, but the downside is that this database growth has a negative impact on the agility of your platform. Both in speed or performance related issues, as in the Continuous Integration process, like with a database backup, rolling back deployments or rolling back content to your QA or development environment.

Of course, other solutions exist to keep your database small, like storing your media on disk and / or exposing it via a CDN, but I figured maybe more Sitecore users or implementation partners face the same issue on existing implementations. Or just want to do the annual spring cleaning on their not so huge databases to keep 'm nice and organized!


The module is installed as a regular Sitecore package. It is build using SPEAK and the Shrink application can be accessed via the launchpad in the Tools column. The first time you start it, it will automatically start scanning your database. Depending on the size of your database, this can take up to several hours. Meanwhile, a processing message is being shown.


Mind that Shrink determines if an item is being referenced by checking its referrers in the Sitecore link database, which means, if you're referencing an item from within your code only, Shrink would mark the item as not being used! To prevent deleting items referenced from code, add the ID's of the concerning items to the Shrink.CodeReferencedItems setting in the Shrink.config file like this:

<!-- Populate this setting with a pipe-separated list of Sitecore ID's of the items you are referencing from code --> <setting name="Shrink.CodeReferencedItems" value="{04DAD0FD-DB66-4070-881F-17264CA257E1}|{094AED03-02E7-4868-80CB-19926661FB77}" />


This module requires write access to the following folder:


Also, to initiate the scanning process of the media library, you have to open the SPEAK application once after installing the module.


Check my blog at http://sitecore.robhabraken.nl/index.php/2554/sitecore-shrink for more info on how this module is built up.

Sunburst chart

The sunburst chart shows you the relative file sizes of the different folders in your media libarry. You can hover over folders and files to see their item name and file size, and you can zoom in on folders too. Clicking on a folder does not only zoom in your view, but also opens up the corresponding folder in the tree view, to show you the actual items and folder structure for that part.

Donut charts

The donut charts show you the most important metrics of the analysis, showing you how much of your media items are not being used (not referenced by any items at all) or not being published to any of your publishing targets. It also gives you an overview of how many items have old versions within your media library.

Clicking on one of the slices of the donut charts filters the tree view to only show you the items of that category. So if you want to browse through all unreferenced items, just click on that slice of the corresponding donut chart!

Archive, Recycle, Delete

The best explanation on the different options for cleaning up your items comes from John West in his blog post https://community.sitecore.net/technical_blogs/b/sitecorejohn_blog/posts/archiving-recycling-deleting-and-restoring-items-and-versions-in-the-sitecore-asp-net-cms: "Archive data that you want to keep (for example, for audit purposes); recycle data that you may want to restore; delete data that you want to remove. For optimal performance and usability, recycle or remove as much data as you can, and archive whatever else you do not need in the Master database."

Please keep in mind, that archiving and recycling only speeds up your queries, because it makes your indexes smaller, but if you really want to cut down the size of your database, only deleting items is going to help you out.


This is actually the best way to clean up your media library without the risk of losing any data. If you choose to download the selected media items, Shrink will download all of them to your Content Management server in the exact same folder structure as in the media library, creating a local backup of your media items. If you select the deletion checkbox, all items will be deleted directly after downloading them, cleaning up your media library as you go.

Delete old versions

Deletes any version other than the latest and the active one.

Tree view

Displays the items and folder structure of your media library and lets you select the items you want to archive, recycle, download or delete. It also responds to the selected category in the donut charts, displaying only those items that are being referenced, or are not published at all for example. This helps you in analyzing your media library.

Sitecore Jobs

Because all of the actions mentioned above potentially require a long time to execute, all actions of this module are actually executed as a Sitecore Job. The SPEAK application will show you a progress bar if applicable and if possible.

Don't forget!

Mind that you need to publish (parts of) the media library after cleaning up to also clean up your web database or other publishing targets. And next to that, you might want to clean up your database by removing orphaned blobs (via the Sitecore Control Panel or using a SQL query) and do a database file shrink from your SQL Server Management Studio to release the freed and now unallocated space within your SQL database.

Future releases

For future releases, next to improving the existing media library usage statistics and clean up actions, I may extend this module with additional utilities to enhance the performance of your Sitecore implementations, by offering additional analyzing or clean up features like optimizing the templates, content structure or maybe even the size of your rendered Sitecore pages.

Feature requests

If you have ideas or suggestions that I can use to improve my module, please do not hesitate to contact me! Best way to contact me is via my Twitter account @rhabraken.

Known issues

The following issues are known and are part of the backlog for future releases:

  • You cannot click on the left and right center parts of the donut charts when using Chrome, because the div highlighting the most important metric for that chart is blocking the chart element. Firefox and IE are okay.
  • The default behavior of the TreeView component which I've extended is to not select items in folded folders. So a checked but folded folder does not mean you have selected anything within that folder. You would actually have to expand it and then it automatically selects everything in it. I want to see if I can either change this behavior, or if I can run a script that folds out everything, but the latter could impose a performance issue as well as a UI challenge.

If you encounter an issue with this module, I would like to know what you've found and I would be more than happy if I can help you out or if I can improve my module in any way. Best way to contact me is via my Twitter account @rhabraken.

Important notes!

Please note that this module is rather new and only tested on a small number of databases and Sitecore instances. Please backup your original database before using this module and preferably test the module for your situation on any other than your production environment, to make sure no data is lost unintentionally upon using it.

Please DO NOT INSTALL THIS MODULE ON A CONTENT DELIVERY SERVER. It is intended for the Content Management server role only and the different Web API calls to delete items could be potentially harmful on an exposed Content Delivery server.