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Rails 4: How to reset test database?

Posted by: admin November 30, 2017 Leave a comment


I’m on Rails 4 and have noticed some of my RSpec tests are failing because some of my test refactorings use a before filter (presumably because of transactions). This post describes a similar issue:

rails test database not clearing after some runs

In lieu of using the DatabaseCleaner gem, is there a rake command to clear out the test database? I believe rake db:test:prepare is deprecated in Rails 4. Also, if before transactions like

post :create, user: Fabricate.attributes_for(:user)

are persistent. Is there an alternative way of refactoring to avoid the need to manually clear out the test database?


An overkill solution would be:

bundle exec rake db:drop RAILS_ENV=test
bundle exec rake db:create RAILS_ENV=test
bundle exec rake db:schema:load RAILS_ENV=test

You could make this all in a rake task and run that.

Another solution from here is to include the following your spec_helper.rb file

config.after :all do

Disclaimer: I have not tested this and you should read the SO post as it may not work in all situations.

That being said, I would recommend using the database cleaner gem to avoid situations such as this.


It can be:

bundle exec rake db:reset RAILS_ENV=test


You can add an after filter deleting all the entries from the concerned tables.


In theory this ActiveRecord::Migration.maintain_test_schema! should do the trick. Put it in rails_helper.rb


I ended up writing a simple rake task that drops/migrates (or drops & migrates) all test and development databases, depending on the command executed.

It includes functionality to prompt the user as to whether they would like to continue when an error occurs, and uses Open3’s popen3 method (such that we can access stdin, stdout and stderr; and any failed commands don’t result in the rake task’s process aborting (unlike when using system)).

Hopefully this helps someone. 🙂


edit: This will need to be manually executed from your shell, whenever you would like to clear your database, however.