When you decommission and delete a database, you decide whether to retain its backup files. The decision is based on your site's policies and whether you might need the database in the future.

When you delete a database, you can retain all external backups. The backups expire at the end of the normal retention period. It is good practice to take a final backup of a database and specify the final backup's retention period before you delete a database. If you retain the external backups, the snapshots and the executable instance of the database are deleted. If the deleted database had point-in-time recovery enabled, all the archived write-ahead log (WAL) segments are deleted as well. This means that the only way to recover the database is by using the external backups. You cannot recover the database using snapshots or point-in-time recovery.

If you do not retain the external backups, the database and its associated backups, snapshots, and WALs are deleted. In addition, the database resources are released, and the database cannot be restored.