Always Free Autonomous Database

You have the option to create a limited number of Always Free Autonomous Databases that do not consume cloud credits. Always Free databases can be created in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure accounts that are in a trial period, have paying status, or are always free. This section describes configuration differences, restrictions, and additional details for Always Free databases.

Resource Restrictions for Always Free Autonomous Database

  • Maximum of 1 OCPU per database

  • Maximum of 20 GB Exadata storage per database

  • Maximum of 20 simultaneous database sessions

  • Maximum of 2 Always Free databases per Oracle Cloud Infrastructure tenancy. There is no restriction on the workload type for Always Free databases in a tenancy. If you create 2 Always Free databases both can have the same workload type or they can have different workload types. Both Data Warehouse and Transaction Processing workload types are supported.


  • Always Free Autonomous Databases cannot be scaled manually or automatically beyond the fixed resource restrictions described above.

  • The Maximum of 20 simultaneous database sessions limit for Always Free and 1 OCPU per database allows you to work with Autonomous Databases; however, if your usage includes many simultaneous users and/or many concurrent database client connections then you can exceed these limits, resulting in errors. To avoid such errors, obtain more resources for your Autonomous Database by upgrading to paid service.

Regional Availability for Always Free Autonomous Database

  • Always Free Autonomous Databases are available worldwide in a subset of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure data regions. See Data Regions for more details on where Always Free databases are supported. See Regions and Availability for further information.

  • You can create Always Free Autonomous Databases in your home data region. When you sign up for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Oracle creates a tenancy in a data region that you select, which becomes your home region. You cannot create an Always Free Autonomous Database in other data regions that you subsequently subscribe to. See The Home Region for more information.

Backup Functionality Not Available in Always Free Autonomous Database

  • Always Free Autonomous Databases do not support full backups to your Oracle Cloud Infrastructure object storage.

  • Always Free Autonomous Databases do not support restoring from full backups.

Preview Versions Not Available in Always Free Autonomous Database

Oracle periodically provides a preview version of Autonomous Database that includes new Autonomous Database features that you can use before these features are made available in existing Autonomous Databases. Preview versions of Autonomous Database are not available with Always Free Autonomous Databases. See Preview Versions for Autonomous Database for information on preview versions.

Inactivity Monitoring and Database Stoppage

Persistently inactive Always Free Autonomous Databases are detected and handled as follows:

  • After being inactive for 7 days, the database will be stopped automatically, preserving its stored data. Inactivity measurements leading up to 7 days are based on database connections. Successfully making a SQL*Net or HTTPS connection resets these measurements to zero.

  • A database that is automatically or manually stopped and stays inactive for 90 days, cumulative, may be reclaimed and permanently deleted. Inactivity measurements leading up to 90 days are based on the database being inactive or in the stopped state. Starting a stopped database resets these measurements to zero.

    Start an Always Free Autonomous Database by clicking the Start button on the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure console. Start a stopped Always Free Autonomous Database before 90 days to avoid losing access to its data.


    When you start an Always Free Autonomous Database instance from stopped state, you need to wait about 5 minutes before attempting to connect to an APEX application or to an Oracle REST Data Services (ORDS) endpoint. If you attempt to connect before the background APEX and ORDS startup completes, then you may see HTTP error messages.
  • On an Always Free database the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure console shows banner alerts prior to automatic stop and permanent delete operations occurring. If you subscribe to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Alerts and Notifications, you also will receive email notifications.


After an Always Free Autonomous Database has been stopped and is later started, you may need to reconnect to the database from SQL*Net database clients. You can use the same Oracle Wallet and database user credentials to reconnect.

Upgrading Always Free Autonomous Databases to Paid Instances

You can upgrade Always Free Autonomous Databases to paid instances to give them additional OCPU and database storage.

If your Oracle Cloud Infrastructure account is in a trial period or has paying status, you can directly upgrade an Always Free database to a paid instance as follows:

  • Sign in to your Oracle Cloud Account at

  • From the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure left navigation list, expand Services, and click Autonomous Data Warehouse.
  • Select the Always Free instance by clicking the link under Name.

  1. On the Details page, from the Actions drop-down list select Update Instance to Paid.

  2. Confirm and proceed with the upgrade.

If your account has finished a trial without upgrading to paying status, you can continue using Always Free databases but you cannot upgrade Always Free instances to a paid instances until the account is first upgraded to paying status. See Upgrade Your Free Oracle Cloud Promotion for more information.