How to switch databases in psql?

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Matheus Mello
Matheus Mello
published a few days ago. updated a few hours ago

How to Switch Databases in psql: A Quick and Easy Guide 🔄💻

If you are familiar with MySQL, you might be accustomed to using the use database_name; command to switch between databases. But what if you are working with PostgreSQL and using the psql command-line tool?

Worry not! In this guide, we will explore the equivalent command to switch databases in psql and address some common issues you might encounter along the way. Let's dive in and unlock the power of database switching in psql! 💪🔍

The psql Equivalent of "use database_name;"

In PostgreSQL, the psql command-line tool provides a convenient way to interact with your databases. To switch databases in psql, you can use the following command:

\c database_name

The \c command, short for \connect, allows you to establish a connection to a specific database. Simply replace database_name with the name of the database you want to switch to, and you're all set!


Let's say you have two databases named my_database and other_database. If you want to switch from my_database to other_database, you would run the following command in psql:

\c other_database

And just like that, you have successfully switched to the other_database!

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Switching databases in psql is usually straightforward. However, you might encounter some common issues along the way. Let's explore a few and their easy solutions:

1. "FATAL: database 'database_name' does not exist"

If you receive this error message, it means that the database you're trying to switch to does not exist. Double-check the spelling of the database name and ensure it exists within your PostgreSQL environment.

2. "You are now connected to database 'database_name'"

Sometimes, you might see this message after running the \c command. This message confirms that the database switch was successful. You can proceed with your desired operations within the newly switched database.

3. "Connection to database 'database_name' failed"

If you encounter this error, it might indicate an issue with your PostgreSQL connection settings. Ensure that you have the correct host, port, username, and password specified in your psql connection string or configuration file.

📢 Let's Connect and Learn Together!

Are you enjoying this blog post? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences with switching databases in psql. Share your comments and questions below! Let's create a vibrant community of tech enthusiasts and help each other out! 🌟💬💡


Switching databases is an essential task when working with PostgreSQL through the psql command-line tool. By using the \c command, you can easily connect to different databases and perform various operations within each one.

Remember, if you are coming from a MySQL background and wondering about the equivalent of use database_name;, the \c database_name command in psql is what you're looking for.

Feel free to bookmark this guide for future reference or share it with others who might find it helpful. Success in switching databases is just a few keystrokes away! 🚀💻

Keep exploring, keep learning, and keep conquering the world of databases like a champion! 🎉💪

Note: If you need more in-depth information or specific troubleshooting assistance, consult the official PostgreSQL documentation or seek help in relevant online forums or communities.

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