Deleting Fields from Database Tables with PhpMyAdmin

Posted on by Alex Gorzen | Updated:
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The scope of information needed in a table can change overtime, and you may find you no longer need a whole column of data. Removing a column from a table can help get rid of unwanted content, like if a project or product is no longer needed, to help free up disk space on a server, to clean up any empty or unused columns, or even just remove data that may have been duplicated. Removing a column is quick and easy to do in PhpMyAdmin.

This guide assumes that you have already logged in to PhpMyAdmin. We will go over how to delete a column within a table.

Deleting Fields from Database Tables with PhpMyAdmin

Starting on the home page of PhpMyAdmin, using the navigation menu on the left, click on the database name that the table we want to modify.

12-01-Main_Page

Next, click on the table name.

12-02-Select_Table

This page shows the records within the table and the various columns that each record can use. In this case we have the test_new column all the way on the right side. This is the field we want to remove, so now click on the Structure tab up near the top of the page.

12-03-Structure_Tab

The Structure tab gives details about how the existing fields are configured. Check the box next to one or more fields that we want to remove, then click on the Drop button below.

12-04-Choose_Fields

The next page gives a warning, making sure that this is the action we want to take. Now would be a good time to double-check that any backups of this table exists first in case there is some information that should not have been removed. Removing the field deletes all data within that column. With the test_new column, all the entries were blank, so nothing to worry about here. Click on the Yes button to proceed.

12-05-Confirm-Drop

This page confirms that the structure change to the table went through successfully and there is no longer the test_new field. We can go back to the main table page by clicking on the table name from the left navigation menu again.

12-06-Column_Dropped

Now, the test_new column is gone and any data contained within that column has been removed.

12-07-Table_Modified

Conclusion

Removing fields from within a database table can quickly be done in a few clicks in PhpMyAdmin. It will remove all record data that is saved in that column, so verify that the data being deleted is the data that should go. Additionally, it never hurts to have a good backup of the table before making any changes.

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About the Author: Alex Gorzen

Alex Gorzen has been helping others with technology his whole life. He played with computers even before he could read and wants to make sure his children share that same love as they grow up. In his free time, he enjoys gardening, building things, and learning new skills.

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