Question: Where is the postgresql.conf file located in Windows?

Answer

The postgresql.conf file is crucial for configuring PostgreSQL server settings. On Windows, its location can vary depending on how PostgreSQL was installed (e.g., using the EnterpriseDB installer, BigSQL distributions, or others).

Default Location with EnterpriseDB Installer

For installations done using the EnterpriseDB installer, which is one of the most common methods to install PostgreSQL on Windows, the postgresql.conf file is typically located inside the data directory. The default path often looks like this:

C:\Program Files\PostgreSQL\<version>\data\postgresql.conf

Here, <version> should be replaced with the actual version number of your PostgreSQL installation, such as 13, 12, etc.

Accessing and Modifying postgresql.conf

To modify the configuration settings:

  1. Open the postgresql.conf file using a text editor with administrative privileges (such as Notepad++ or Visual Studio Code).
  2. Make the desired changes to the configuration. For example, you might want to change the listening addresses or adjust the memory limits.
  3. Save the changes and close the text editor.
  4. Restart the PostgreSQL service for the changes to take effect. This can typically be done from the Services app in Windows.
# You can restart the PostgreSQL service via the command line also: sc stop postgresql-x64-<version> sc start postgresql-x64-<version>

Replace <version> with your specific version.

Troubleshooting

If you cannot find the postgresql.conf file in the expected location, consider the following:

  • Verify the PostgreSQL version and the installation path.
  • Check if PostgreSQL was installed using a different method or by a different user.
  • Use the SQL command below to query the current setting directly from psql or another SQL interface:
SHOW config_file;

This command will return the path to the currently active postgresql.conf file.

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