Documentation Home
MySQL 5.5 Reference Manual
Related Documentation Download this Manual
PDF (US Ltr) - 27.2Mb
PDF (A4) - 27.2Mb
PDF (RPM) - 25.8Mb
HTML Download (TGZ) - 6.5Mb
HTML Download (Zip) - 6.6Mb
HTML Download (RPM) - 5.6Mb
Man Pages (TGZ) - 158.5Kb
Man Pages (Zip) - 262.1Kb
Info (Gzip) - 2.6Mb
Info (Zip) - 2.6Mb
Excerpts from this Manual

13.1.28 DROP TABLE Syntax

    tbl_name [, tbl_name] ...

DROP TABLE removes one or more tables. You must have the DROP privilege for each table.

Be careful with this statement! It removes the table definition and all table data. For a partitioned table, it permanently removes the table definition, all its partitions, and all data stored in those partitions. It also removes the partitioning definition (.par) file associated with the dropped table.

DROP TABLE causes an implicit commit, except when used with the TEMPORARY keyword. See Section 13.3.3, “Statements That Cause an Implicit Commit”.


When a table is dropped, privileges granted specifically for the table are not automatically dropped. They must be dropped manually. See Section, “GRANT Syntax”.

If any tables named in the argument list do not exist, the statement returns an error indicating by name which nonexisting tables it was unable to drop, but also drops all tables in the list that do exist.

Use IF EXISTS to prevent an error from occurring for tables that do not exist. Instead of an error, a NOTE is generated for each nonexistent table; these notes can be displayed with SHOW WARNINGS. See Section, “SHOW WARNINGS Syntax”.

IF EXISTS can also be useful for dropping tables in unusual circumstances under which there is an .frm file but no table managed by the storage engine. (For example, if an abnormal server exit occurs after removal of the table from the storage engine but before .frm file removal.)

The TEMPORARY keyword has the following effects:

  • The statement drops only TEMPORARY tables.

  • The statement does not cause an implicit commit.

  • No access rights are checked. A TEMPORARY table is visible only with the session that created it, so no check is necessary.

Using TEMPORARY is a good way to ensure that you do not accidentally drop a non-TEMPORARY table.

The RESTRICT and CASCADE keywords do nothing. They are permitted to make porting easier from other database systems.

User Comments
User comments in this section are, as the name implies, provided by MySQL users. The MySQL documentation team is not responsible for, nor do they endorse, any of the information provided here.
  Posted by Oliver Frick on August 22, 2011
You can use "show tables from mysqldb1 like 'name%' "
And then copy paste into a text editor and build a comma separated list to feed "drop table "... For me this is faster than write the procedure :)
  Posted by Peter Hine on May 7, 2012
for table in `echo show tables in piwik\; | mysql | grep piwik_archive_`;do echo drop table $table\; | mysql -D piwik; done

linux example for removing all the archive tables in a database called piwik to simulate the "drop table like 'piwik_archive_%'" example above
  Posted by Brendan Byrd on July 22, 2015
It should be noted that the TEMPORARY keyword is also allowed on slave servers, especially non-existent temporary tables. For example, if 'tempo' is an existing temp table for a non-admin user on a slave:

Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

ERROR 1290 (HY000): The MySQL server is running with the --read-only option so it cannot execute this statement

Query OK, 0 rows affected, 1 warning (0.00 sec)

MySQL knows that the DROP is for a temp table if the table exists, but assumes that the DROP is for a non-temp table if the table doesn't exist, unless the TEMPORARY keyword is used.

Sign Up Login You must be logged in to post a comment.