Fixing PostgreSQL Problem 42501 Quickly

If you are getting a SQL State 42501 error, and don’t know how to fix it, you are on the right page.

Everything is completed, but your website displays a Postgresql error 42501 at the last minute. This must be frustrating for you.

However, what is this PostgreSQL error 42501?

A common error that sometimes occurs in response to an unauthorized user’s PostgreSQL database query. Generally, the SQL state 42501 error shows that a user has been granted insufficient rights to access a database query. So when a user with unwanted permission requests access, the SQL database responds with the PostgreSQL 42501 error.

This is the reason we often get many requests from our users to fix it. As a PostgreSQL management service provider, we can help you resolve this error quickly.

In this article today, let’s discuss the PostgreSQL 42501 error and its resolution.


Causes of PostgreSQL error 42501 

The SQL state 42501 denotes insufficiently privileged access to the SQL database user. Now let’s see what are the main causes behind this error.

The reasons can be different that lead to the SQL state 42501 error. Here, we will discuss two major reasons.

  • User has Insufficient Privilege

Usually, we know that the 42501 error occurs due to a PostgreSQL user with insufficient privileges allowing a query on a database. The user must have enough rights to access the database. When a user tries to query a database in a tool like pgAdmin, the response ends up with a 42501 error.

For instance,

WARNING: no privileges were granted for “how”

ERROR : permission denied for relation hl_boundary


ERROR: permission denied for relation hl_boundary

SQL state: 42501

If a root user is restoring the database, all the objects and operations will be under the control of the root user. No other user has the right to enter the database and run a query. If it happened, it would show a SQL state 42501 error.

  • Settings in SELinux 

There are additional reasons, such as the SELinux configuration. Sometimes, disabled settings in SELinux on the server also trigger the SQL state 42501 error.

SELinux (Security-Enhanced Linux) is a security architecture designed for the Linux system. It provides the administrator with complete control over the system. However, if the SELinux setting on the server is enabled, it will appear with a SQL state 42501 error message. Thus, its enabled setting in a server can be a major cause of getting the PostgreSQL 42501 error in the database query.

 How to Fix 42501 (Permission Denied) Error

There are two major causes to trigger the 42501 error. It could either be an insufficient privilege or SELinux enabled. 

Now let’s see how to fix the PostgreSQL 42501 error. 

  • Grant User’s Privilege

First, it is important to check the database user privilege setting. Does a user have the right to access the database or not? If the user lacks permission, change it accordingly. To do this, give privilege to the given user by using the below command in the request table of a database.


This command will give privilege to a user from private to public, so anyone can use it. In this case, the access is authorized for everyone.

But in some cases, if you are not allowing everyone to give privilege to a selected person, use the below code.

GRANT SELECT ON table_name TO user_name;

After using this command, only privileged users can have access to the database.

  • Disable SELinux

Sometimes, the user who has the privilege to access the database is still triggered with the SQL state 42501 error. Here, it can happen due to SELinux settings being enabled.

To get rid of the error message, check the SELinux setting and put it into disabled state by using the following command.

selinuxenables & & echo enabled || echo disabled

By using this command, SELinux settings are disabled and the user can access the database.


In short, the PostgreSQL problem 42501 occurs for two main reasons. The first is the insufficient privilege of access, and the second is the SELinux ‘enabled ‘setting. We discussed how to resolve these issues. It is now simple to learn how to quickly resolve the SQL State 42501 error. Still, finding difficulties or having another error? Hire MyAdmin will fix it for you.