May 6, 2024 By Matthew Rathbone *


Deleting a database in MySQL is a task that requires careful consideration, as it permanently removes all data and structures associated with the database. This action cannot be undone, so it’s important to proceed with caution. In this tutorial, we’ll walk through the steps to properly delete a database in MySQL.

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  • A MySQL server installed and running.
  • Sufficient privileges to delete databases.

Step 1: Connect to MySQL

To delete a database in MySQL, you will need to have access to the MySQL command line or a graphical interface like Beekeeper Studio with appropriate credentials.

mysql -u your_username -p

Replace your_username with your MySQL username. You’ll be prompted to enter your password.

Step 2: View Existing Databases

Use the SHOW DATABASES command to view a list of all the databases on the server. This will help you confirm the existence and name of the database you want to delete.


This command will display a list of databases currently available on the MySQL server.

Connection Considerations

You do not need to be connected to a database to drop it: You can issue the DROP DATABASE command while connected to any database, including the default database like mysql, information_schema, or any other user-defined database.

Avoid being connected to the database you want to drop: While MySQL does allow the dropping of the currently connected database, it’s a best practice to switch to a different database or not specify any database when performing a DROP DATABASE operation. This is to avoid any potential session errors or conflicts that might arise after the database is dropped, as the session would then be connected to a non-existent database.

Step 3: Drop the Database

Use the DROP DATABASE command to delete the database. This command takes the name of the database as its argument, so you will need to specify the name of the database you want to delete. For example, if the database you want to delete is named mydb, you would use the following command:


This command will permanently remove the database and all its associated tables, views, indexes, and other objects.

Step 4: Confirm Deletion

After executing the DROP DATABASE command, MySQL will immediately delete the specified database. To verify that the deletion was successful, you can once again list all databases:


Ensure that the database you deleted is no longer present in the list.


In this tutorial, we’ve learned how to properly delete a database in MySQL. Remember to exercise caution when performing this operation, as it permanently erases all data and structures associated with the database. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to take a backup of the database before deleting it, just in case you need to restore it later.

Always double-check your commands and the database name before executing the DROP DATABASE command to avoid unintended data loss.

This procedure is compatible with all MySQL versions. However, please note that the syntax may vary slightly in different versions.

If you have any questions or encounter any issues, its always a good idea to consult the MySQL documentation.