Export and import using pg_dump, pg_dumpall, and pg_restore

This page describes exporting and importing data into Cloud SQL instances using pg_dump, pg_dumpall, and pg_restore.

Before you begin

Exports use database resources, but they do not interfere with normal database operations unless the instance is under-provisioned.

For best practices, see Best Practices for Importing and Exporting Data.

After completing an import operation, verify the results.

Learn more about the pg_dump, pg_dumpall, and pg_restore utilities.

Export data from Cloud SQL for PostgreSQL

You can use Cloud SQL to perform an export from the Google Cloud console, the gcloud CLI, or the API.

  • To export a single PostgreSQL database, use the pg_dump utility.
  • To export all PostgreSQL databases of a cluster, use the pg_dumpall utility.

When using either utility, make sure that you also use the required options to ensure that the resulting export file is valid for import back into Cloud SQL.

Export data from an on-premises PostgreSQL server using pg_dump

To export a database that is not managed by Cloud SQL, for later import into Cloud SQL, use the pg_dump utility with the following flags:

  • --no-owner

    Ownership change commands must not be included in the dump file.

  • --format

    The custom and directory formats are allowed if the dump file is intended for use with pg_restore.

    For plain-text format, export to a SQL dump file instead. This format is not compatible with pg_restore, and must be imported using the Google Cloud console import command or psql client.

  • --no-acl

    This flag is required if your dump would otherwise contain statements to grant or revoke membership in a SUPERUSER role.

In addition, you must remove all of the following:

  • Extension-related statements, if Cloud SQL does not support that extension. See PostgreSQL Extensions for the list of supported extensions.
  • CREATE EXTENSION or DROP EXTENSION statements referencing plpgsql. This extension comes pre-installed on Cloud SQL Postgres instances.
  • COMMENT ON EXTENSION statements.

Confirm that the default encoding, as determined by the database settings, is correct for your data. If needed, you can override the default with the --encoding flag.

Export data using the custom format from Cloud SQL for PostgreSQL

To use the custom format, from a command line, run pg_dump:

pg_dump \
--format=custom \
--no-owner \
--no-acl \

Export data from multiple files in parallel from Cloud SQL for PostgreSQL

You can only use the directory output format to export data from multiple files in parallel.

To export in parallel, use the -j NUM_CORES flag. NUM_CORES is the number of cores on the source instance.

Export all databases

pg_dumpall is a utility that allows you to extract all PostgreSQL databases of a cluster into a single script file. This file has SQL commands that you can use to restore the databases.

To export all PostgreSQL databases in a Cloud SQL instance, use the pg_dumpall utility with the following mandatory flags:

  • exclude-database=cloudsqladmin
  • exclude-database=template*

The pg_dumpall utility doesn't have access to the cloudsqladmin or template databases.

To export all PostgreSQL databases, run the following command:

pg_dumpall \
-h HOST_NAME -l DATABASE_NAME –exclude-database=cloudsqladmin \
–exclude-database=template* > pg_dumpall.sql

To view role passwords when dumping roles with pg_dumpall, set the cloudsql.pg_authid_select_role flag to a PostgreSQL role name. If the role exists, then it has read-only (SELECT) access to the pg_authid table. This table contains role passwords.


Use the pg_restore utility to import an archive into a Cloud SQL database. pg_restore works only with archives created by pg_dump in either the custom or directory formats. Learn more about pg_restore.

Import from a dump file created with the custom format to Cloud SQL for PostgreSQL

If the dump file was created with custom format, run the following command:

pg_restore \
--list DATABASE_NAME.dmp | sed -E 's/(.* EXTENSION )/; \1/g' >  DATABASE_NAME.toc

Post-processing from sed comments out all extension statements in the SQL dump file.

When importing using pg_restore, specify the processed table of contents with the command-line argument "--use-list=DATABASE_NAME.toc".

Import data from multiple files in parallel to Cloud SQL for PostgreSQL

You can import data from multiple files in parallel only for archives created using the directory and custom output formats.

To import in parallel, use the -j NUM_CORES flag. NUM_CORES is the number of cores on the destination instance.

Import performance on Cloud SQL for PostgreSQL

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