PostgreSQL DROP/Delete DATABASE: PSQL Command Example

Drop Database in PostgreSQL

The DROP DATABASE in PostgreSQL is a statement to permanently remove all catalog entries and data directory. The database owner can only execute this command. It can not be executed while someone is connected with the target database. You need to connect to some other database to execute the DROP DATABASE command.

So, you should be extra cautious when performing this operation.




  • IF EXISTS: This is an optional parameter. In case of the database does not exist, a warning is displayed instead of an error
  • name: mention the DB name that you want to drop

Let’s see an PostgreSQL drop database command line example in action

PostgreSQL Drop Database Using SQL Shell(Command Line)

Below is a step by step process to drop database in Postgres command line:

Step 1) Use command \l to determine the currently available database.

Step 2) To drop database in Postgres, enter command

drop database guru99

Use command \l to check whether DB is deleted

Step 3) Try to drop the same database again, you will get an error.

Step 4) Drop the database with IF exists clause and you get a warning

drop database IF EXISTS guru99

PostgreSQL Drop Database PgAdmin (GUI)

Step 1) Right Click on database “guru99” and click “Delete/Drop.”

Step 2) Click OK on the confirmation pop-up

Database is deleted.

dropdb command

The dropdb command allows you to delete database in PostgreSQL remotely. But, the user must be the owner of the database in order use PostgreSQL delete database command to delete that database.


Dropdb [option.] dbname
Option Description
-e Echo commands that dropdb creates and sends to the server.
-i Display a verification prompt before performing any destructive job
-V Use this option to print the dropdb version.
–help Provide help with dropdb command-line arguments.
-h host Helps you to specify the name of the host of the system on which the server is currently running.
-p port Option allows you to specify the Unix domain socket file extension on which the server is establishing connections.
–if exists If exists will show an error instead of a warming if the DB does not exit
-U username User name to connect as.
-w Use this option if you don’t want a password prompt
-W Use this parameter to prompt for a password before dropping the database.
maintenance db-=dbname the database name of the to connect to drop the target database.


We want to destroy a database guru99 with the help of a server on host rome, port 4565, with verification and you need to use following drop database PostgreSQL command:

dropdb -p 4565 -h rome -i -e guru99

Database “guru99” will be permanently deleted.

Are you sure? (y/n) if you select y, then you can



  • The PSQL DROP DATABASE statement removes all the catalog entries and data directory permanently from the PostgreSQL environment
  • You can use If exists clause so that no error is displayed
  • You can also drop a database using pgadmin
  • dropdb command allows you to remotely drop or delete database in PSQL