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Unless you have correctly setup a cron job to clear out your Magento database it is possible that over time your database could grow extremely large. We have encountered databases almost 1GB filled with useless logged information. Clearing these out not only saves disk space but can lead to some dramatic speed improvements as well.
To see if you have a problem open phpmyadmin and click on the database name in the left hand menu. This will list all your tables in the right hand window and you will see the size of your different tables.
Look at all log tables ie
This last table collects information on
catalog_product_view (products recently viewed box)
catalog_product_compare_add_product (recently compared products box and compare box)
wishlist_add_product (wishlist box not wishlist itself)
and is very prone to bloat.
If any of these tables are large and yes, 1/2 a million records is large you can Empty them.
Put a tick next to each table you wish to Empty (NOT DROP). At the bottom of the table list you will see the option. With checked : Select Empty. You will be taken to a confirmation screen asking if you are sure you wish to TRUNCATE these tables. Select yes and you could potentially reclain a lot of disk space.
Once you have done this use the same technique to OPTIMISE your table. Log into the backend and refresh your cache.
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