How to time SQL queries using psql?

Being able to tell how much time a query takes to run can be very useful when you’re trying to optimize your queries.

In this post, we’ll show you how to do this using the psql command-line tool.

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Bobby Iliev
Site Moderator
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April 18, 2022
Accepted Answer


One of the most straightforward ways to time a query is to use the following:

  • First, connect to the database using psql:
  1. psql -h localhost -p 5432 -U postgres

Note that you would need to have the psql command installed on your machine:

  • Then you can run the following statement to enable query timing:
  • Once you’ve executed the above statement, you can run the query you want to time.
SELECT * FROM users;


Time: 0.120 ms

This is going to be enabled for your current session only. Once you open a new session, the query timing will be disabled, so you will have to enable it again.

Hope that this helps!



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