MySQL Change a User Password Command Tutorial

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I would like to change a password for a user called tom using UNIX / Linux command line option. How do I change a user password on MySQL server?

You need to use mysql (or mysql.exe on MS-Windows based system) command on a Linux or Unix like operating system. Open a terminal app or ssh session. Type the following command at the shell prompt to login as a root user. The syntax is as follows for Unix like operating system.
Tutorial details
Difficulty level Easy
Root privileges No
Requirements Linux or Unix terminal
Category Database Server
OS compatibility BSD Linux macOS Unix Windows WSL
Est. reading time 3 minutes

How to change user password on mysql

Mysql change user password using the following method:

  1. Open the bash shell and connect to the server as root user:
    mysql -u root -h localhost -p
  2. Run ALTER mysql command:
    ALTER USER 'userName'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'New-Password-Here';
  3. Finally type SQL command to reload the grant tables in the mysql database:

Please note that use mysql.exe on MS-Windows host as follows (first change directory where mysql.exe is located [example: “C:\Program Files\mysql\mysql-5.0.77-win32\bin“]. Let us see examples and syntax in details.

mysql command to change a user password

Login as root from the shell:
$ mysql -u root -p
Or admin user that can do DBA duties. For example:
$ mysql -u admin -h -p

  • -u root OR -u admin : MySQL server admin user name (root is default on most systems).
  • -h : MySQL server IP address or hostname such as
  • -p : Prompt for the password.

Switch to mysql database (type command at mysql> prompt, do not include string “mysql>”):
mysql> use mysql;
The syntax is as follows for mysql database server version 5.7.5 or older:

SET PASSWORD FOR 'user-name-here'@'hostname' = PASSWORD('new-password');

For mysql database server version 5.7.6 or newer use the following syntax:

ALTER USER 'user'@'hostname' IDENTIFIED BY 'newPass';

You can also use the following sql syntax:

UPDATE mysql.user SET Password=PASSWORD('new-password-here') WHERE USER='user-name-here' AND Host='host-name-here';

In this example, change a password for a user called tom:

SET PASSWORD FOR 'tom'@'localhost' = PASSWORD('foobar');


UPDATE mysql.user SET Password=PASSWORD('foobar') WHERE USER='tom' AND Host='localhost';

Sample outputs:

Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)
Rows matched: 1  Changed: 1  Warnings: 0

Feel free to replace the values for “tom” (user), “localhost” (hostname), and “foobar” (password) as per your requirements. Finally, type the following command to reload privileges:


Sample outputs:

Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

To exit from mysql> prompt, enter:


Changing the MySQL root or user password using the mysqladmin command

We can also use the mysqladmin CLI to alter the MySQL password. The syntax for the mysqladmin command is as follows:
$ mysqladmin --user={USER_NAME} password "{NEW_PASSWORD_HERE}"
$ mysqladmin --user=root password "5b350f65542fdb74e74ef7b815f86ad5"
$ mysqladmin --user=root --host= --password password "5b350f65542fdb74e74ef7b815f86ad5"


  • --user=root : User for login if not current user.
  • --password : Prompt for password to use when connecting to server.
  • --host= : Connect to MySQL server host by given IP address or hostname.
  • password "5b350f65542fdb74e74ef7b815f86ad5" : Change old password to “5b350f65542fdb74e74ef7b815f86ad5” in current format.

Verify the new password settings

User or you can test new password using the following shell syntax:
$ mysql -u tom -p
When promoted enter new password you set earlier for tom user.

Sample session

Fig.01: Mysql Updating / Changing password (click to enlarge)

Fig.01: Mysql Updating / Changing password (click to enlarge)

Summing up

You learned how to change MySQL or MariaDB user password using the mysql command line on Linux, Unix, macOS, *BSD and Windows operating systems. For more info please read the mysql manual page by typing the man command or passing the --help option under Unix-like systems. For instance:
$ man mysql
$ mysql --help

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20 comments… add one
  • Alex Nov 29, 2016 @ 7:02

    Thanks, it work for me!

  • Steve Jan 24, 2017 @ 5:51

    In MySQL 5.7 the Password field has been removed and replaced with authentication_string . So, UPDATE mysql.user SET Password=PASSWORD('foobar') WHERE USER='tom' AND Host='localhost'; throws an error;

    ERROR 1054 (42S22): Unknown column 'Password' in 'field list'

    Use UPDATE mysql.user SET authentication_string=PASSWORD('foobar') WHERE USER='tom' AND Host='localhost'; instead.

  • Edmunds Sigfrid Mar 31, 2021 @ 19:32

    Here how to change MySQL user password on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with MySQL version
    mysql --version
    I am using this:
    mysql Ver 8.0.23 for Linux on x86_64 (MySQL Community Server - GPL)
    Now, I login as mysql root user (admin user):
    mysql -u root -p
    My user name is sigfrid and hostnames are locahost and
    UPDATE mysql.user SET authentication_string = PASSWORD('NEWPASSWORD')
    WHERE User = 'sigfrid' AND Host = 'localhost';
    UPDATE mysql.user SET authentication_string = PASSWORD('NEWPASSWORD')
    WHERE User = 'sigfrid' AND Host = ';

    I typed command twice for two different hosts. Then I did:
    After that I quit mysql:
    Now it worked. Thank you.

  • Jakuje Mar 13, 2022 @ 16:32

    > Run ALERT mysql command:
    should say ALTER …

  • Andres Areiza Nov 23, 2022 @ 1:01

    This helped me a lot, thanks!

  • Jx May 15, 2023 @ 17:58


  • Michael Pecoraro Jun 5, 2023 @ 19:16

    “FLUSH PRIVILEGES” is not needed after the “ALERT USER” statements. That is true in 5.7 and 8.0, and likely some earlier versions as well. Per the MySQL docs, “If you modify the grant tables indirectly using an account-management statement, the server notices these changes and loads the grant tables into memory again immediately. Account-management statements are described in Section 13.7.1, ‘Account Management Statements’.”

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