I wrote a script to backup a postgresql using COPY and then delete those records. I have used pg_relation_size before and after delete.

  1. pg_relation_size
  4. pg_relation_size

But both pg_relation_size shows same results. Does this mean VACUUM ANALYZE was not helpful?

2 Answers 2


VACUUM does not necessarily make unused space available to the filesystem, it merely makes the blocks re-usable for further INSERTs (or UPDATEs).

If I'm not mistaken the only way to also actively reduce the size on the file system would be a VACUUM FULL, but beware that needs an exclusive lock on the table(s).

Do you expect the table to not get any new rows or updates? Because if it will get new rows, then it doesn't really make sense to try to shrink the files phyiscally now if they are going to be increased again later due to new rows arriving.


a_horse_with_no_name responded to original question, let me just add a link - if you want to remove bloat from table, you might find this informative.

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