This is a list of the most frequently asked questions on ElephantSQL. For more information or if you need support, please visit our support page.

Please note that if you use our service via a marketplace, the answers to some of these FAQs might not be applicable.

General questions

Why ElephantSQL

Handle instances


Integration and availability





General questions

What is ElephantSQL?

ElephantSQL is a cluster of managed PostgreSQL servers in cloud-hosted databases that let you store data in a structured way that can easily be accessed, managed, and updated.

What is PostgreSQL?

PostgreSQL is an open-source, object-relational database management system.

What is a database?

The primary function of a database is to store data in a structured way. Databases can store very large numbers of records efficiently. The data is stored securely for authenticated users to access, manage, delete and update. Multiple users are able to access the same database at the same time. All the data can easily be sorted into a chosen way (e.g. by date or alphabetic) when it is accessed/selected from the database.

What is a connection?

A "connection" refers to a TCP connection between your application and the PostgreSQL database.

Why should we use databases and ElephantSQL?

Using a database makes it very quick and easy to find information, perform a search, and add new data, edit or delete old data. ElephantSQL provides hosting of PostgreSQL databases, meaning that ElephantSQL manages and maintains the servers. The monitoring tool will detect unhealthy nodes, automatically restart nodes, perform daily backups, make it easy to set up followers and keep a "write-ahead log" of all changes, storing the logs in multiple data centers.

Why should we use databases and ElephantSQL?

Using a database makes it very quick and easy to find information, perform a search, and add new data, edit or delete old data. ElephantSQL provides hosting of PostgreSQL databases, meaning that ElephantSQL manages and maintains the servers. The monitoring tool will detect unhealthy nodes, automatically restart nodes, perform daily backups, make it easy to set up followers and keep a "write-ahead log" of all changes, storing the logs in multiple data centers.

What are the benefits of a cloud-based database

A cloud-based database increases the speed of getting the application to the market. Developers can then focus on the core part of their applications instead of managing and maintaining servers and handling backups.

What kind of customers are using ElephantSQL?

Developers who want to focus on the core part of their applications instead of managing and maintaining servers. We have customers in a range from large enterprise businesses and startups to individual hobby developers.

Handle instances

How do I connect to my database?

Create a new instance also creates a new database. Look into the details page for the instance to find the hostname such as, password, and username. Guides are available for various programming languages under the Documentation tab. You can also connect to the host using psql, pgadmin, the ElephantSQL browser or any other Postgres-compatible client.

Can I migrate between plans?

You have some migration options between plans in ElephantSQL:
Fork: Easiest is to fork your database to a new server. This can also be done for plans with followers.
Backup and restore: Another option is to set up a new instance, take a backup of the old one and import your data into the new instance.
Pipe data: You also pipe your data to a new database: pg_dump postgres://user:pass@host/db | psql postgres://user:pass@host2/newdb

More information on different migration options can be found here

How do I delete an instance?

Choose Edit on the instances list page and navigate to the Delete Instance section. If you remove an instance, all your databases, users, data and backups will be deleted and we will not be able to restore them.

Can I have multiple databases for one instance?

You can create multiple databases on a dedicated server.

I can not manage users or databases, what is wrong?

It is only possible to manage databases and users on dedicated plans.

What are followers and how can I set up followers to my database?

A follower is another database that has a read-only copy of the leader database. The follower will stay up-to-date with the leader database data. All modifications of the data including write/update/deletes are committed to the leader database and the changes are streamed to the follower database.

You can use followers when you want to spread selects across multiple servers or when you want to have a hot-standby ready to take over if your main database crashes.

Followers work by using PostgreSQL's built-in replication strategy.

On ElephantSQL is it easy to set up followers to your database. Go to the console page and press the follower tab and follow the instructions.

What kind of server metrics are available for the instances?

ElephantSQL offers server metrics for dedicated instances. The server metrics include diagrams for CPU, Memory, Disk, and Network usage over time.

How many individual databases can I create on my server?

(Dedicated server) You can create as many individual databases as you like on your server. The servers are not artificially limited in any way, it is only up to the limits of the underlying hardware. The exact number of databases that a server can support depends on server size and how much load you have on your databases.

Is PostGIS enabled?

PostGIS is enabled on all dedicated plans. PostGIS adds support for geographic objects allowing location queries to be run in SQL.

Is vacuum enabled?

Auto-vacuum is enabled by default but not full vacuum. On dedicated plans, you can control the auto vacuum, which we can help you configure.

How do I import a CSV file into a PostgreSQL table?

PostgreSQL has posted a good tutorial on how to import a CSV file into a PostgreSQL table.


Does ElephantSQL take backups of the database?

Automated backups are performed every day on all paid plans (pg_dump). These are stored in a cloud file so they are always accessible to you (same cloud as your instance). The backup is saved for 30 days. Backup files from the last month can be found and downloaded in the ElephanSQL Control Panel.

The backups are compressed with lzop, to restore the data you can usually use the following: lzop -cd "$FILE_NAME" | psql "$DATABASE_NAME"

Full server backups (base backup) are performed once a week and rolling WAL backups are performed every second minute.

If you have backups in a the "PostgreSQL custom database dump" format you can use pg_restore to import it into your ElephantSQL instance.

Integration and availability

What is the service-level agreement (SLA) for ElephantSQL?

Head over to ElephantSQL Service Level Agreement (SLA) to learn more.

How do I get started with ElephantSQL

If you are new to databases, we recommend that you read our beginner guide.

Another getting started guide can be found in our ElephantSQL documentation. Once you have created your account you can get started querying and processing data by using any of the guides found here in the sidebar, depending on platform and language. These tutorials cover the basics of connecting your applications using ElephantSQL.

Do all clusters have nodes in multiple availability zones?

All clusters have nodes in multiple availability zones.

What will happen if one node goes down?

If one node goes down our monitoring tools detect that and bring the node back up again. Setting up followers/replicas to maximize the uptime of your database is also a good safeguard.

What clouds/data centers and regions are ElephantSQL available in?

ElephantSQL is available in the following clouds and regions:

* Regions that are available for our shared instances, Tiny Turtle, Simple Spider, Crazy Cat and Pretty Panda.

  • Amazon web services

    AP East 1 (Hong Kong) *, AP NorthEast 1 (Tokyo) *, AP NorthEast 2 (Seoul), AP NorthEast 3 (Osaka), AP South 1 (Mumbai), AP SouthEast 1 (Singapore), AP SouthEast 2 (Sydney) *, CA Central 1 (Canada), EU Central 1 (Frankfurt), EU North 1 (Stockholm) *, EU South 1 (Milan), EU West 1 (Ireland) *, EU West 2 (London), EU West 3 (Paris), ME South 1 (Bahrain), SA East 1 (Sao Paulo) *, US East 1 (Northern Virginia) *, US East 2 (Ohio), US West 1 (Northern California) *, US West 2 (Oregon)

  • Google Compute Engine

    Asia East 1 (Taiwan), Asia East 2 (Hong Kong) *, Asia Northeast 1 (Tokyo), Asia South 1 (Mumbai), Asia Southeast 1 (Singapore), Australia Southeast 1 (Sydney) *, Europe North 1 (Finland), Europe West 1 (Belgium), Europe West 2 (London) *, Europe West 3 (Frankfurt), Europe West 4 (Netherlands), Europe West 6 (Zürich), North America Northeast 1 (Montréal, Canada), South America East 1 (São Paulo) *, US Central 1 (Iowa) *, US East 1 (South Carolina), US East 4 (North Virginia), US West 1 (Oregon), US West 2 (Los Angeles)

  • Azure

    Australia East, Australia Southeast, Brazil South, Canada Central, Canada East, Central India, Central US *, East Asia, East US, East US 2, France Central, Japan East, Japan West, Korea Central, Korea South, North Central US, North Europe, South Africa North, South Central US, South India, Southeast Asia, UAE North, UK South, UK West, West Central US, West Europe *, West India, West US, West US 2

pgAdmin - Failed to connect to the database with pgAdmin, what is wrong?

You probably left the default 'Postgres' in the 'Maintenance DB' field. Change it to the database name. Read our section about pgAdmin for more information.


Does ElephantSQL support TLS/SSL?

We do support TLS (SSL). In most clients, it is easy to use TLS by adding ?ssl=true to the connection URL. More information can be found here: PostgreSQL JDBC Driver Chapter 4. Using SSL

How do I authenticate your server's identity?

Our servers certificate is signed by one of the common trusted root CAs, most OSes/browsers come with the certificate built-in.

Heads up The signing root CA may change in the future.

If you don't have a trust store you can download the DigiCert Global Root CA certificate from KB or via Note: Instances created before 2021-09-13 had the root CA changed on 2021-09-15, see the following status update

Are ElephantSQL SOC2 compliant?

We are proud to be compliant with SOC 2 by AICPA. We have been audited against the Security (common criteria) and Availability Trust Services Criteria.

Our SOC 2 Type 2 report can be obtained under an NDA per request. Please send an email to


Do you offer any reseller discounts?

No discounts are available at this time.

Are there any shipping costs?

No. There is no shipping cost since the service is shipped electronically.

Is the service returnable?

No. The service is non-returnable.

What payment options and terms do you offer?

You can choose to pay through credit card (due on charge date) or via wire transfers (NET15). If you would like us to enable manual invoicing via wire transfer, send us an email once you have added all information and we will enable it for you. Please note that we don’t accept checks.

We need an official quote, how do we get that?

Email to receive an official quote. Include your plan selection and the subscription period.

Will your service be provided on- or off-premise?

The service will be provided off-premise in a data center and region chosen on behalf of the customer. The data centers and regions currently provided can be found at the bottom of our Pricing Page.

How does your billing work?

Our billing is pro-rated, which means that our customers only pay for the time the service has been available to them due the month after delivery. Thus, you won’t receive your first invoice when the account has been created; instead, you will receive it at the beginning of the upcoming month.

Our PO is set up for a year, could we get an annual invoice?

No. Our customers often change their plan while they are using our service, therefore it’s not convenient to pay for a year upfront. However, we do allow prepayments with credit. If you are a paying customer contact our customer support to activate prepayment.

Please advise if any documents with signatures will be required in addition to the PO we would submit in the event a PO is executed.

No. We don’t need any documents with signatures from you.

Can you confirm that the service will not have an automatic renewal once the current subscription on the PO expires?

No. To safeguard customer data, active subscriptions aren’t deleted. For example, resellers that provide us with a PO for two months’ of the Happy Hippo plan are responsible for deleting the plan after the subscription expires. Otherwise, you will be charged for the extra time your data remains on the system.

We have a customer using your service with an active subscription and PO that wants to add one more subscription. Should we extend the current PO or issue a new one?

It’s best to extend the current PO. If you need to have two separate PO’s for the subscriptions, you must open a new account in order to bill the subscriptions separately.

I’m a reseller and want to set up an account, how do I do that?

  1. Log in to ElephantSQL and enter your email address. Fill out all the information in the billing section, such as billing address, email, etc. Please note that it’s important that we have your billing information registered and not the end-user information since you are our direct customer and not the end-user.

  2. The PO number can be specified in the billing section under “billing notes”, or you may send it to us and we will add it for you.

  3. You are free to create and delete instances once the billing information is set up. It’s up to you and the end-user to decide which of you will create the subscription specified in the PO.

  4. Invite the end-user to the account via the Team Page within the ElephantSQL control panel so that he/she can start using the service.

  5. Change the role of the person that created your account to “Billing Manager”. By doing so, you can access all invoices of the account and update the billing information. But you will not be able to edit the customer's subscription. See more information in our blog post about Access Control List (ACL).


How and when will I get billed?

Billing occurs at the end of each month, and you are only charged for the time an instance has been available to you. For example, if you had a Happy Hippo (for $99/month) running for 15 days, then you will only be charged $49.50.

Billing occurs at the end of each month, and you are only charged for the time an instance has been available to you.

What are my payment options?

You can pay with VISA, Mastercard or by invoice and bank transfer. Contact us at if you require invoicing. Payment options can be found under Billing information in the Control Panel.

Is ElephantSQL GDPR-compliant?

Yes. You can read more about in our GDRP Compliance statement.

Can we sign a DPA with ElephantSQL?

No separate agreement is required. Our Data Processing Agreement (DPA) for GDPR is an exhibit to our Terms of Service. Thus, our business relationship is automatically covered by a DPA when signing up for an account.

How do you make a subject access request to 84codes AB?

You have the right to see what personal information 84codes AB holds about you. You are entitled to be given a description of the information, what we use it for, who we might pass it onto, and any information we might have about the source of the information.

A subject access requests should be made via email to

Where is my data located?

As the data controller, you decide where you want to host your data by choosing a data center and region. The data will not leave that region unless you choose to move it. In ElephantSQL’s role as data controller, we may collect and store contact information, such as email address, and physical address, when customers sign up for our services or seek support help.

Your personal customer data (email and billing information) is stored in US.