Starting PostgreSQL on Windows: Using Services Manager, Command Prompt, and More


Here are the common ways to start PostgreSQL on Windows:

  • Using the Services Manager: This is the simplest way. You can search for "Services" in the Start Menu and find the "postgresql-x64" service (version number might differ). Right-click and choose "Start" to run the PostgreSQL server.

  • Using the Command Prompt: You can navigate to the directory containing the pg_ctl program (usually in "C:\Program Files\PostgreSQL<version>\bin"). Then use the command pg_ctl -D "data_directory_path" restart where "data_directory_path" is the location where PostgreSQL stores its data.

  • Using the net start command: This approach also uses the command prompt. The command is simply net start postgresql-x64-14 (version number might differ).

In all these methods, you might need to adjust the directory paths or service names depending on your specific PostgreSQL installation. For more complex setups or troubleshooting, you might refer to the PostgreSQL documentation https://www.postgresql.org/docs/.

Using Command Prompt:

pg_ctl -D "C:\Program Files\PostgreSQL\14\data" restart


  • pg_ctl is the program used to control the PostgreSQL server.
  • -D specifies the data directory location (adjust the path as needed).
  • restart tells pg_ctl to restart the PostgreSQL server if it's already running, or start it if it's not.

Using net start:

net start postgresql-x64-14


  • net start is a built-in Windows command to start services.
  • postgresql-x64-14 is the name of the PostgreSQL service (version number might differ on your system).

  • Windows Task Scheduler: This allows you to schedule automatic startup of PostgreSQL. You can set a trigger (like system startup) and an action to run pg_ctl with the appropriate arguments (similar to the command prompt example).

  • Third-party tools: Some database management tools or IDEs might have built-in functionality to start and stop PostgreSQL servers. These tools often provide a user-friendly interface for managing your PostgreSQL instance.

  • Using the pgAdmin launcher (if installed): pgAdmin is a popular graphical management tool for PostgreSQL. If you have it installed, it might have a launcher icon or option within the application to start and stop the PostgreSQL server.

Remember, the methods mentioned earlier (Services Manager and net start) are still considered alternative methods to directly using the pg_ctl program at the command prompt. These options simply provide a different interface to interact with the same underlying functionality.


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