DROP TABLE

Synopsis

Use the DROP TABLE statement to remove one or more tables (with all of their data) from the database.

Syntax

drop_table ::= DROP TABLE [ IF EXISTS ] table_name [ , ... ] 
               [ CASCADE | RESTRICT ]

drop_table

DROPTABLEIFEXISTS,table_nameCASCADERESTRICT

Semantics

drop_table

if_exists

Under normal operation, an error is raised if the table does not exist. Adding IF EXISTS will quietly ignore any non-existent tables specified.

table_name

Specify the name of the table to be dropped. Objects associated with the table, such as prepared statements, will be eventually invalidated after the DROP TABLE statement is completed.

RESTRICT / CASCADE

RESTRICT is the default and it will not drop the procedure if any objects depend on it.

CASCADE will drop any objects that transitively depend on the procedure.

Example

Do this:

set client_min_messages = warning;
drop table if exists children, parents cascade;

create table parents(k int primary key, v text);

create table children(
  k int, parents_k int, v text,
  constraint children_pk primary key(k, parents_k),
  constraint children_fk foreign key(parents_k) references parents(k));
\d children

The \d metacommand output includes this information:

Foreign-key constraints:
    "children_fk" FOREIGN KEY (parents_k) REFERENCES parents(k)

Now do this:

\set VERBOSITY verbose
drop table parents restrict;

It causes this error:

2BP01: cannot drop table parents because other objects depend on it

with this detail:

constraint children_fk on table children depends on table parents

Now do this:

drop table parents cascade;
\d children

The 'DROP' now succeeds and the \d metacommand shows that the table "children" still exists but that it now as no foreign key constraint to the now-dropped "parents" table.

See also