Enable Instant File Initialization is easy in SQL Server 2016

Starting from SQL Server 2005, Microsoft introduced a feature called Instant File Initialization. By default, when you create a database, add a new data file, increase the size of an existing file,  in SQL Server first initialized by filling the files with zeros.

File initialization causes these operations to take longer. However, when data is written to the files for the first time, the operating system does not have to fill the files with zeros. To accomplish this we need to enable “Instant File Initialization” in SQL Server.  Prior to SQL Server 2016, to enable this feature you had to edit the Local Security Policy to give the account that runs the SQL Server service the “Perform volume maintenance tasks” right as shown in Figure 1

  1. Run secpol.msc on the server.
  2. Expand the Local Policies Folder
  3. Click on User Rights Assignment
  4. Go down to the “Perform Volume Maintenance Tasks” option and double click it
  5. Add your SQL Server Service account, and click OK out of the dialog.


Figure 1

Microsoft made this feature easy in SQL Server 2016, When you install SQL Server you have a choice to enable this feature under server configuration as show in Figure 2. You do not have to configure after installation, once you enable it will automatically grant required permission to the service account the SQL Server installed.


Figure 2

Hope you enjoyed the post!


Ramasankar Molleti

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Published by Ramasankar

Hi. I’m Ramasankar Molleti. I’m a passionate IT professional with over 14 years of experience on providing solutions for customers who are looking on cloud computing, Database Migration, Development, and Big Data. I love learning new technologies and share my knowledge to community. I am currently working as Sr Cloud Architect with focus on Cloud Infrastructure, Big Data. I work with developers to architect, build, and manage cloud infrastructure, and services. I have deeep knowledge and experience on working with various database platforms such as MS SQL Server, PostgeSQL, Oracle, MongoDB, Redshift, Dyanamodb, Amazon Aurora. I worked as Database Engineer, Database Administrator, BI Developer and successfully transit myself into Cloud Architect with focus on Cloud infranstructure and Big Data. I live in USA and put my thoughts down on this blog. If you want to get in touch with me, contact me on my Linkedin here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ramasankar-molleti-23b13218/ My Certifications: Amazon: AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certificate AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty AWS Certified Security – Specialty certificate AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty certificate AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Microsoft: Microsoft® Certified Solutions Associate: SQL Server 2012/2014 Microsoft Certified Professional Microsoft® Certified IT Professional: Database Administrator 2008 Microsoft® Certified Technology Specialist: SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance

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