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Import data

Import data from PostgreSQL

This topic describes how to import an existing PostgreSQL database to Neon. The instructions can also be used to migrate a database from one Neon project to another. For example, you can use the instructions to migrate a database from a Neon project created with PostgreSQL 14 to a Neon project created with PostgreSQL 15.

PostgreSQL provides several import methods. This topic shows how to use the pg_dump utility with connection strings and psql.

pg_dump <connection-string> | psql <connection-string>

The format for a PostgreSQL connection string is:



  • <user> is your PostgreSQL user.
  • <password> is your PostgreSQL user's password.
  • <hostname> is the hostname of the PostgreSQL instance.
  • <port> is the port number of the PostgreSQL instance. The default port number is 5432.
  • <dbname> is the name of the database.

A Neon connection string has the same format, where:

  • <user> is the Neon database role.
  • <password> is the database role's password, which is provided to you when you create a Neon project.
  • <hostname> is the hostname of the Neon compute endpoint, can be found under Connection Details on the Neon Dashboard or by selecting the branch on the Branches page in the Neon Console.
  • <port> is the Neon port number. The default port number is 5432.
  • <dbname> is the database you are connecting to. The default Neon database is neondb.

You can obtain a Neon connection string from the Neon Dashboard, under Connection Details. The connection string must include your project password, which was provided when you created the Neon project. If you have misplaced your password, you can reset it. Passwords are managed on the Roles page in the Neon Console.

The command for importing a database from PostgreSQL to Neon appears similar to the following:

pg_dump postgres://mypguser:a1B2c3D4e5F6@<hostname>:5432/mydb | psql postgres://

The command for importing a database from one Neon project to another uses two Neon connection strings:

pg_dump postgres:// | psql postgres://

If you have multiple databases to import, each database must be imported separately.

Data import notes

When importing a database, be aware of the following:

  • If you are importing a database from an archive using pg_dump that is not in plain-text format, use the pg_restore utility instead of psql to restore the database to Neon.
  • Neon is not able to create databases, so you can not use pg_dumpall or pg_dump with the -C option.
  • Because pg_dump dumps a single database, it does not include information about roles stored in the global pg_authid catalog. Also, Neon does not support creating roles using psql. You can only create roles using the Neon Console. If you do not create roles in Neon before importing a database that has roles, you will receive "role does not exist" errors during the import operation. You can ignore this warning. It does not prevent data from being imported.
  • Some PostgreSQL features that require access to the local file system are not supported by Neon. For example, tablespaces and large objects are not supported. Please take this into account when importing a database from PostgreSQL to Neon.
  • In addition to databases, Neon supports importing individual tables from a standalone PostgreSQL instance. You can do this using the COPY command. The only requirement is that the data is transferred through a replication stream, which may affect the performance of other queries, including those unrelated to the table you are copying. Individual tables can also be imported from a CSV file. See Import from CSV.

For information about the commands referred to in this topic, refer to the following topics in the PostgreSQL documentation:

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