B.5.4.1 How to Reset the Root Password

B.5.4.1.1 Resetting the Root Password: Windows Systems
B.5.4.1.2 Resetting the Root Password: Unix Systems
B.5.4.1.3 Resetting the Root Password: Generic Instructions

If you have never set a root password for MySQL, the server does not require a password at all for connecting as root. However, this is insecure. For instructions on assigning passwords, see Section 2.18.2, “Securing the Initial MySQL Accounts”.

If you know the root password, but want to change it, see Section 13.7.1.6, “SET PASSWORD Syntax”.

If you set a root password previously, but have forgotten it, you can set a new password. The following sections provide instructions for Windows and Unix systems, as well as generic instructions that apply to any system.

B.5.4.1.1 Resetting the Root Password: Windows Systems

On Windows, use the following procedure to reset the password for all MySQL root accounts:

  1. Log on to your system as Administrator.

  2. Stop the MySQL server if it is running. For a server that is running as a Windows service, go to the Services manager: From the Start menu, select Control Panel, then Administrative Tools, then Services. Find the MySQL service in the list and stop it.

    If your server is not running as a service, you may need to use the Task Manager to force it to stop.

  3. Create a text file containing the following statements. Replace the password with the password that you want to use.

    UPDATE mysql.user SET Password=PASSWORD('MyNewPass') WHERE User='root';
    FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
    

    Write the UPDATE and FLUSH statements each on a single line. The UPDATE statement resets the password for all root accounts, and the FLUSH statement tells the server to reload the grant tables into memory so that it notices the password change.

  4. Save the file. For this example, the file will be named C:\mysql-init.txt.

  5. Open a console window to get to the command prompt: From the Start menu, select Run, then enter cmd as the command to be run.

  6. Start the MySQL server with the special --init-file option (notice that the backslash in the option value is doubled):

    C:\> C:\mysql\bin\mysqld-nt --init-file=C:\\mysql-init.txt
    

    If you installed MySQL to a location other than C:\mysql, adjust the command accordingly.

    The server executes the contents of the file named by the --init-file option at startup, changing each root account password.

    You can also add the --console option to the command if you want server output to appear in the console window rather than in a log file.

    If you installed MySQL using the MySQL Installation Wizard, you may need to specify a --defaults-file option:

    C:\> "C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.0\bin\mysqld-nt.exe"
             --defaults-file="C:\\Program Files\\MySQL\\MySQL Server 5.0\\my.ini"
             --init-file=C:\\mysql-init.txt
    

    The appropriate --defaults-file setting can be found using the Services Manager: From the Start menu, select Control Panel, then Administrative Tools, then Services. Find the MySQL service in the list, right-click it, and choose the Properties option. The Path to executable field contains the --defaults-file setting.

  7. After the server has started successfully, delete C:\mysql-init.txt.

You should now be able to connect to the MySQL server as root using the new password. Stop the MySQL server, then restart it in normal mode again. If you run the server as a service, start it from the Windows Services window. If you start the server manually, use whatever command you normally use.

B.5.4.1.2 Resetting the Root Password: Unix Systems

On Unix, use the following procedure to reset the password for all MySQL root accounts. The instructions assume that you will start the server so that it runs using the Unix login account that you normally use for running the server. For example, if you run the server using the mysql login account, you should log in as mysql before using the instructions. Alternatively, you can log in as root, but in this case you must start mysqld with the --user=mysql option. If you start the server as root without using --user=mysql, the server may create root-owned files in the data directory, such as log files, and these may cause permission-related problems for future server startups. If that happens, you will need to either change the ownership of the files to mysql or remove them.

  1. Log on to your system as the Unix user that the mysqld server runs as (for example, mysql).

  2. Locate the .pid file that contains the server's process ID. The exact location and name of this file depend on your distribution, host name, and configuration. Common locations are /var/lib/mysql/, /var/run/mysqld/, and /usr/local/mysql/data/. Generally, the file name has an extension of .pid and begins with either mysqld or your system's host name.

    You can stop the MySQL server by sending a normal kill (not kill -9) to the mysqld process, using the path name of the .pid file in the following command:

    shell> kill `cat /mysql-data-directory/host_name.pid`
    

    Use backticks (not forward quotation marks) with the cat command. These cause the output of cat to be substituted into the kill command.

  3. Create a text file containing the following statements. Replace the password with the password that you want to use.

    UPDATE mysql.user SET Password=PASSWORD('MyNewPass') WHERE User='root';
    FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
    

    Write the UPDATE and FLUSH statements each on a single line. The UPDATE statement resets the password for all root accounts, and the FLUSH statement tells the server to reload the grant tables into memory so that it notices the password change.

  4. Save the file. For this example, the file will be named /home/me/mysql-init. The file contains the password, so it should not be saved where it can be read by other users. If you are not logged in as mysql (the user the server runs as), make sure that the file has permissions that permit mysql to read it.

  5. Start the MySQL server with the special --init-file option:

    shell> mysqld_safe --init-file=/home/me/mysql-init &
    

    The server executes the contents of the file named by the --init-file option at startup, changing each root account password.

  6. After the server has started successfully, delete /home/me/mysql-init.

You should now be able to connect to the MySQL server as root using the new password. Stop the server and restart it normally.

B.5.4.1.3 Resetting the Root Password: Generic Instructions

The preceding sections provide password-resetting instructions for Windows and Unix systems. Alternatively, on any platform, you can set the new password using the mysql client (but this approach is less secure):

  1. Stop mysqld and restart it with the --skip-grant-tables option. This enables anyone to connect without a password and with all privileges. Because this is insecure, you might want to use --skip-grant-tables in conjunction with --skip-networking to prevent remote clients from connecting.

  2. Connect to the mysqld server with this command:

    shell> mysql
    
  3. Issue the following statements in the mysql client. Replace the password with the password that you want to use.

    mysql> UPDATE mysql.user SET Password=PASSWORD('MyNewPass')
        ->                   WHERE User='root';
    mysql> FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
    

    The FLUSH statement tells the server to reload the grant tables into memory so that it notices the password change.

You should now be able to connect to the MySQL server as root using the new password. Stop the server, then restart it normally (without the --skip-grant-tables and --skip-networking options).