How To Change a PostgreSQL User Password


By squashlabs, Last Updated: October 3, 2023

How To Change a PostgreSQL User Password

To change the password for a PostgreSQL user, you can follow these steps:

Step 1: Connect to the PostgreSQL Database

To change the password, you need to connect to the PostgreSQL database server using a database client or the command line tool psql.

Here’s an example of connecting to PostgreSQL using the psql command line tool:

psql -U postgres -d your_database

Replace your_database with the name of the database you want to connect to. The -U option specifies the username, and in this example, we’re using the default username postgres.

Related Article: How to Check and Change Postgresql's Default Port

Step 2: Change the Password

Once connected to the database, you can change the password using the ALTER USER statement. Here’s the syntax:

ALTER USER username WITH PASSWORD 'new_password';

Replace username with the actual username of the user you want to change the password for, and replace new_password with the new password you want to set.

For example, to change the password for a user named myuser to newpassword, you would run the following command:

ALTER USER myuser WITH PASSWORD 'newpassword';

After executing the command, you should see a confirmation message indicating that the user’s password has been changed.

Step 3: Verify the Password Change

To verify that the password has been successfully changed, you can try connecting to the database using the new password.

For example, if you changed the password for the user myuser to newpassword, you can try connecting using the following command:

psql -U myuser -d your_database

If the connection is successful, it means that the password change was successful.

Why Change PostgreSQL User Password?

There are several reasons why you might want to change the password for a PostgreSQL user:

1. Security: Changing passwords regularly helps protect your database from unauthorized access. It is a good security practice to change passwords periodically or whenever there is a suspicion of compromise.

2. Compliance: Some security regulations or standards require regular password changes to meet compliance requirements.

3. Employee turnover: When an employee leaves your organization or changes roles, it is important to change their database password to prevent unauthorized access.

Related Article: How to Create a Database from the Command Line Using Psql

Best Practices

Here are some best practices to consider when changing PostgreSQL user passwords:

1. Use strong passwords: Choose passwords that are at least 12 characters long and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using common words or easily guessable passwords.

2. Regularly change passwords: Set a regular schedule to change passwords for your PostgreSQL users. This could be every 60 or 90 days, depending on your organization’s security policies.

3. Use a password manager: Consider using a password manager to securely store and manage your PostgreSQL user passwords. Password managers can generate strong passwords and help you keep track of them.

4. Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA): Enable MFA for your PostgreSQL database to add an extra layer of security. MFA requires users to provide additional verification, such as a temporary code from a mobile app, in addition to their password.

Alternative Method: Using the pgAdmin GUI

If you prefer using a graphical user interface (GUI), you can also change the password for a PostgreSQL user using the pgAdmin tool.

Here’s how you can do it:

1. Open pgAdmin and connect to your PostgreSQL server.

2. Expand the server in the Object browser, then expand “Login/Group Roles”.

3. Right-click on the user you want to change the password for and select “Properties”.

4. In the “Properties” dialog, go to the “Definition” tab.

5. Enter the new password in the “Password” field and confirm it in the “Confirm Password” field.

6. Click “OK” to save the changes.

The user’s password should now be updated.

Please note that the steps may vary slightly depending on the version of pgAdmin you are using.

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