I have installed PostgreSQL on my Windows machine for development. Now I haven't used it for a while, and have forgotten the password for user postgres (default admin user in PostgreSQL). How can I reset the password for postgres in PostgreSQL on Windows?

I followed Milen's suggestion, but got this message when trying to reload the configuration file:

C:\Program Files\PostgreSQL\9.1\data>pg_ctl reload -D .
pg_ctl: could not send reload signal (PID: 3396): Operation not permitted

In Windows there is a menu option "Reload Configuration" that worked better, as shown below:

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


From the 9.0 FAQ, I lost the database password. What can I do to recover it?:

I lost the database password. What can I do to recover it?

You can't. However, you can reset it to something else. To do this, you

  1. Edit pg_hba.conf to allow trust authorization temporarily - go here for its location
  2. Reload the config file (pg_ctl reload)
  3. Connect and issue ALTER ROLE postgres WITH PASSWORD 'newpassword'; to set the new password (for first time users note the semi-colon)
  4. Edit pg_hba.conf again and restore the previous settings
  5. Reload the config file again
  • 3
    Can you explain Reload the config file (pg_ctl reload)? How do you do that? Aug 25, 2014 at 2:22
  • Run 'pg_ctl' as windows root authentication
    – 안재형
    Mar 3, 2017 at 5:33

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