I want to drop all connections (sessions) that are currently opened to a specific PostgreSQL database but without restarting the server or disconnecting connections to other databases.

How can I do that?

migrated from stackoverflow.com Apr 12 '12 at 14:38

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  • I read somewhere that you could use lowth.com/cutter to achive this. – Krister Andersson Apr 11 '12 at 14:51

Here is my answer to very similar question on StackOverflow.

Depending on your version of postgresql you might run into a bug, that makes pg_stat_activity to omit active connections from dropped users. These connections are also not shown inside pgAdminIII.

If you are doing automatic testing (in which you also create users) this might be a probable scenario.

In this case you need to revert to queries like:

 SELECT pg_terminate_backend(pg_stat_activity.procpid) 
 FROM pg_stat_get_activity(NULL::integer) 
 WHERE datid=(SELECT oid from pg_database where datname = 'your_database');
  • 8
    ERROR: missing FROM-clause entry for table "pg_stat_activity" (psql (9.6.1)) – user1767316 Jul 19 '17 at 14:51
  • 4
    this does not work anymore....get the above error ^ – lightweight Dec 6 '17 at 18:25
  • See answer below by Szymon Guz – Dfranc3373 Apr 16 '18 at 20:33
  • Missing from Clause, does not work – Vipul May 22 at 8:06

The query like this should help (assuming the database is named 'db'):

select pg_terminate_backend(pid) from pg_stat_activity where datname='db';

pid used to be called procpid, so if you're using a version of postgres older than 9.2 you could try the following:

select pg_terminate_backend(procpid) from pg_stat_activity where datname='db';

However you have to be a superuser to disconnect other users.

It might also be useful to REVOKE CONNECT ON DATABASE FROM PUBLIC or something similar, and then GRANT it afterward.


This can be used to "free" a database from client connections, so that you for example can rename it:

SELECT pg_terminate_backend(procpid) FROM pg_stat_activity WHERE datname='current_db';
ALTER DATABASE current_db RENAME TO old_db;
ALTER DATABASE new_db RENAME TO current_db;

Be aware that this might cause problematic behaviour to your client apps. Data actualy should not be currupted due to using transactions.

$ ps aux | grep DATABASE_NAME

51191 postgres: user DATABASE_NAME [local] idle

then kill the process

$ kill 51191

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