MySQL UPDATE Statement

In this example, I will demonstrate how to use the UPDATE statement to modify values using MySQL.

1. Introduction

MySQL is an open-source relational database management system. Here is the UPDATE statement syntax:

UPDATE {table_name} SET {assignment_list} [WHERE where_condition]
  • {table_name} – the table name.
  • {assignment_list} – one or more assignments which update records.
  • [WHERE where_condition] – optional condition.

2. Technologies Used

The example code in this article was built and run using:

  • MySQL

3. Set Up Table

In this step, I will create a table and insert three records.

create table scripts

create table user_tbl(
   user_fname VARCHAR(100) NOT NULL,
   user_lname VARCHAR(40) NOT NULL,
   PRIMARY KEY ( user_id )

insert into user_tbl( user_fname, user_lname ) values('Mary','Zheng');
insert into user_tbl( user_fname, user_lname ) values('Tom2','Zheng');
insert into user_tbl( user_fname, user_lname ) values('Jerry2','Cheng');

4. Update Record

4.1 Update Single Record

Use a WHERE clause to limit the records. In this step, I will update the user_fname to “Test” for the user_id = 1.

update script – 1

update user_tbl 
set user_fname = 'Test'
where user_id = 1;

4.2 Update Multiple Records

In this step, I will update both user_fname and user_lname.

update script – 2

update user_tbl 
set user_fname = 'Test', user_lname='Chang'
where user_id = 1;

5. Update a New Column

In this step, I will add a new column via ALTER TABLE command and then update its value with two existing columns.

add a new column

ALTER TABLE user_tbl ADD login VARCHAR(100);

After the column is added, then use the UPDATE statement to change the value.

update script – 3

update user_tbl 
set login = CONCAT(user_fname , ".", user_lname)
where user_id > 0;

You can verify with a SELECT statement.

mysql update - update scripts
Figure 1 Update Scripts

6. Download the Source Code

You can download the full source code of this example here: MySQL Update Statement

Mary Zheng

Mary has graduated from Mechanical Engineering department at ShangHai JiaoTong University. She also holds a Master degree in Computer Science from Webster University. During her studies she has been involved with a large number of projects ranging from programming and software engineering. She works as a senior Software Engineer in the telecommunications sector where she acts as a leader and works with others to design, implement, and monitor the software solution.
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