I have written a simple query that should show all table sizes of any given schema in human-readable format:

select table_name, pg_relation_size(quote_ident(table_name))
from information_schema.tables
where table_schema = 'my_schema'
order by 2

When I run this query in PgAdmin, I get the following error:

ERROR:  relation "my_table" does not exist
SQL state: 42P01

How can this error even be possible? I have not changed the information_schema at all and, if a relation doesn't exist in the first place, why would it be in the information_schema ? Any idea how this could happen?

  • postgres has like all rdms a lot of bugs, report it
    – nbk
    Feb 13, 2021 at 21:39
  • 2
    @nbk: while I agree that no software is free of bugs, I wouldn't qualify Postgres as having "lots of them". And this is probably not one to begin with, rather a user error. Feb 13, 2021 at 22:08

1 Answer 1


The only reason I can think of, is if my_schema is not part of your search_path.

As you pass a table name without schema qualifying it to the function pg_relation_size() the table is searched in the default search_path. If it's not found, you'll get that error.

Use a fully qualified name instead:

pg_relation_size(format('%I.%I', table_schema, table_name))
  • i think it is an error as my_table exists in the table schema, but the error says that the table doesn't exist
    – nbk
    Feb 13, 2021 at 22:11
  • 2
    @nbk: no it's not an error. my_table references a table in the default schema/search_path (e.g. public) . my_schema.my_table references the table in the specific schema. Feb 13, 2021 at 22:17
  • I would phrase this even stronger because I think the default search_path is <username>, public, so unless OP fiddled with the search_path, we know that my_schema is not in the search_path.
    – AndreKR
    Feb 14, 2021 at 9:26

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