ORA-00020: maximum number of processes (%s) exceeded – and you cant login?

In this article I’ll show how to deal with this Oracle error ORA-00020: maximum number of processes (%s) exceeded in few simple steps.


This error can be shown for many reasons, but one is known – your oracle server reached the maximum connections defined in ORACLE_HOME_DIR/DBS/init.ora

What to do?

Make this simple steps, and you will have access to sqlplus when you got the ORA-00020: maximum number of processes (%s) exceeded.

1. lsnrctl start – with this commant, you stop any future connection to the DB.

2. emctl stop dbconsole – stop the Oracle Enterprise Console, to free some connections.

3. Edit the file ORACLE_HOME_DIR/DBS/init.ora – you have to change processes to something that meet your requirement.

4. emctl start dbconsole – start the Oracle Enterprise Console.

5. lsnrctl start – start the Oracle listener.

Enjoy your „brand“ new Oracle 😀

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Thanks for this good ORACLE ora-00020 error tutorial! 🙂