13.1.20 RENAME TABLE Syntax

RENAME TABLE tbl_name TO new_tbl_name
    [, tbl_name2 TO new_tbl_name2] ...

This statement renames one or more tables.

The rename operation is done atomically, which means that no other session can access any of the tables while the rename is running. For example, if you have an existing table old_table, you can create another table new_table that has the same structure but is empty, and then replace the existing table with the empty one as follows (assuming that backup_table does not already exist):

CREATE TABLE new_table (...);
RENAME TABLE old_table TO backup_table, new_table TO old_table;

If the statement renames more than one table, renaming operations are done from left to right. If you want to swap two table names, you can do so like this (assuming that tmp_table does not already exist):

RENAME TABLE old_table TO tmp_table,
             new_table TO old_table,
             tmp_table TO new_table;

As long as two databases are on the same file system, you can use RENAME TABLE to move a table from one database to another:

RENAME TABLE current_db.tbl_name TO other_db.tbl_name;

Beginning with MySQL 5.0.2, if there are any triggers associated with a table which is moved to a different database using RENAME TABLE, then the statement fails with the error Trigger in wrong schema.

As of MySQL 5.0.14, RENAME TABLE also works for views, as long as you do not try to rename a view into a different database.

Any privileges granted specifically for the renamed table or view are not migrated to the new name. They must be changed manually.

When you execute RENAME, you cannot have any locked tables or active transactions. You must also have the ALTER and DROP privileges on the original table, and the CREATE and INSERT privileges on the new table.

If MySQL encounters any errors in a multiple-table rename, it does a reverse rename for all renamed tables to return everything to its original state.

You cannot use RENAME to rename a TEMPORARY table. However, you can use ALTER TABLE instead:

mysql> ALTER TABLE orig_name RENAME new_name;

If the rename operation would move the table to a database located on a different file system, outcome success is platform specific and depends on the underlying operating system calls used to move table files.