Reclaim disk space after deleting Magento MySQL database

Josh Pennington asked:

I needed to reclaim some disk space so I removed an old Magento database from my server. The database size was around 16 GB. I was surprised that once the database was deleted, it did not really free up that disk space.

I tried restarting the MySQL server, but it is still taking up that space.

If it matters, a Magento database uses innoDB pretty heavily.

Is there anything I can do to get this disk space back?

My answer:

Currently the only way to reclaim the space used by a dropped InnoDB database is to dump all the databases, stop MySQL, delete the underlying storage files, restart MySQL, and finally import the database dump.

The MySQL documentation has further information about this.

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