How to Delete A Database In MySQL/MariaDB

Posted on by J. Mays | Updated:
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Pre-Flight Check

  • These instructions are intended for deleting a MySQL database on Linux via the command line.
  • I’ll be working from a Liquid Web Core Managed CentOS 7 server, and I'll be logged in as root.
How to Delete A Database In MySQL/MariaDB

First, we'll log in to the MySQL server from the command line with the following command:

mysql -u root -p

In this case, I've specified the user root with the -u flag and then used the -p flag so MySQL prompts for a password. Enter your current password to complete the login. If you need to change your root (or any other) password in the database, then follow this tutorial on changing a password for MySQL via the command line.

You should now be at a MySQL prompt that looks very similar to this:


Follow this tutorial if you have not yet created a database, or you want a list of databases.

Delete a Database in MySQL

It only takes one simple command to delete a database in MySQL, but BEWARE; dropping a database can not be undone! The command is as follows:

DROP DATABASE tutorial_database;

If a database with the name tutorial_database does not exist, then you'll receive this error:

ERROR 1008 (HY000): Can't drop database 'tutorial_database'; database doesn't exist

To avoid seeing this error use the following command instead:

DROP DATABASE IF EXISTS tutorial_database;

The above command will only drop the database tutorial_database if a database of that name exists.

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View All MySQL Databases

To view a list of databases simply issue the following command:


Your result should be similar to this:

 | Database           |
 | information_schema |
 | mysql              |
 | test               |
 4 rows in set (0.00 sec)

Video by Andrew Casares


In this tutorial, we covered how to view and delete a MySQL database from the command line in Linux. We also included a handy video which presents a visual representation of how to accomplish this task.

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