How to open your NationBuilder snapshot on a Mac

This guide is written for pgAdmin 3, which is no longer supported by pgAdmin. You can still follow these directions to open your snapshot using pgAdmin 3, but be aware that this guide does not apply to pgAdmin 4.

This HOWTO will teach you how to open a NationBuilder snapshot on your Mac, so that you can work with your data outside of NationBuilder. If you need to restore information from a snapshot to your nation, please contact This guide uses Postgres App to run a local PostgreSQL server, and pgAdmin to manage and administer the database. You can also run a PostgreSQL server from the command line or use other PostgreSQL admin/management software to work with .dump files.

Table of Contents

Using the Postgres/pgAdmin Apps

  1. Install Postgres App

  2. Install pgAdmin 4

  3. Open the Postgres App.

    • postgres1.png
    • Open psql (this will open a terminal window with psql started) 
      • openpsql.png
  4. Make owner "nbuild" as a superuser:
  5. Create a new database "nbuild" with owner "nbuild" with the following command:
    • CREATE DATABASE nbuild OWNER nbuild;
  6. Connect to the "nbuild" database:
    • \c nbuild;
  7. Paste the following command, replace "SLUG" with the slug of the nation the snapshot is from.

    • CREATE SCHEMA nbuild_SLUG; CREATE SCHEMA shared_extensions; CREATE EXTENSION hstore WITH schema shared_extensions; CREATE EXTENSION dblink WITH schema shared_extensions; CREATE EXTENSION citext WITH schema shared_extensions; CREATE EXTENSION pg_trgm WITH schema shared_extensions;
  8. Open pgAdmin.

  9. Add a connection to a server (the plug icon in the top left of the application).

    • localhost.png
  10. Find your schema, right click and select Restore.

    • restore1.png
  11. Select your .dump file from where you downloaded it to, then click Restore.

    • restore2.png
  12. Now you should be good to go!

    • finished.png

How to backup a nation

How to install postgresql on a Mac with Homebrew and Lunchy

pgAdmin software documentation

SQL Tutorial from

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