Create new rows in a table.

Table of contents


INSERT INTO table_ident
  [ ( column_ident [, ...] ) ]
  { VALUES ( expression [, ...] ) [, ...] | ( query ) | query }
  [ ON CONFLICT (column_ident [, ...]) DO UPDATE SET { column_ident = expression [, ...] } |
    ON CONFLICT [ ( column_ident [, ...] ) ] DO NOTHING ]
  [ RETURNING { * | output_expression [ [ AS ] output_name ] | relation.* } [, ...] ]


INSERT creates one or more rows specified by value expressions.

The target column names can be listed in any order. If the target column names are omitted, they default to all columns of the table or up to N columns if there are fewer values in the VALUES clause or query.

Implicitly inferred column names are ordered by their ordinal value. The ordinal value depends on the ordering of the columns within the CREATE TABLE statement.

The values supplied by the VALUES clause or query are associated with the explicit or implicit column list left-to-right.

Each column not present in the explicit or implicit column list will not be filled.

If the expression for any column is not of the correct data type, automatic type conversion will be attempted.

The optional RETURNING clause causes INSERT to compute and return values based from each row actually inserted (or updated, if an ON CONFLICT DO UPDATE clause was used). This is primarily useful for obtaining values that were supplied by defaults, such as a _id, also any expression using the table’s columns is allowed.


This clause can be used to update a record if a conflicting record is encountered.

ON CONFLICT (conflict_target) DO UPDATE SET { assignments }


 conflict_target := column_ident [, ... ]
 assignments := column_ident = expression [, ... ]

Within expressions in the DO UPDATE SET clause, you can use the special excluded table to refer to column values from the INSERT statement values. For example:

INSERT INTO t (col1, col2) VALUES (1, 41)
ON CONFLICT (col1) DO UPDATE SET col2 = excluded.col2 + 1

The above statement would update col2 to 42 if col1 was a primary key and the value 1 already existed for col1.


When ON CONFLICT DO NOTHING is specified, rows which caused a duplicate key conflict will not be inserted. No exception will be thrown. For example:

INSERT INTO t (col1, col2) VALUES (1, 42)

In the above statement, if col1 had a primary key constraint and the value 1 already existed for col1, no insert would be performed. The conflict target after ON CONFLICT is optional.

Insert from dynamic queries constraints

In some cases SELECT statements produce invalid data. This opens a rare occasion for inconsistent outcomes. If the select statement produces data where a few rows contain invalid column names, or where you have rows which types are not compatible among themselves, some rows will be inserted while others will fail. In this case the errors are logged on the node. This could happen in the following cases:

  • If you select invalid columns or incompatible data types with unnest e.g.:

    select unnest([{foo=2}, {foo='a string'}])


    select unnest([{_invalid_col='foo', valid_col='bar'}])
  • If you select from an ignored object which contains different data types for the same object column, e.g.:

    insert into from_table (o) values ({col='foo'}),({col=1})
    insert into to_table (i) (select o['col'] from t)

Any updates which happened before the failure will be persisted, which will lead to inconsistent outcomes. So special care needs to be taken by the application when using statements which might produce dynamic data.


table_ident:The identifier (optionally schema-qualified) of an existing table.
column_ident:The name of a column or field in the table pointed to by table_ident.
expression:An expression or value to assign to the corresponding column.
query:A query (SELECT statement) that supplies the rows to be inserted. Refer to the SELECT statement for a description of the syntax.
output_expression:An expression to be computed and returned by the INSERT command after each row is updated. The expression can use any column names of the table or use * to return all columns. System columns can also be returned.
output_name:A name to use for the result of the output expression.


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