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
  • Michael Sep 24, 2009 @ 23:28


    mysql> flush privileges;

  • Keilaron Feb 12, 2010 @ 15:37

    Or just use the SET PASSWORD command:

  • mehari Jan 4, 2011 @ 20:08

    This is good

  • amazed Jan 27, 2011 @ 8:10

    Very helpful information.

  • Zipfer Oct 12, 2011 @ 6:31

    You forgot – FLUSH PRIVILEGES; after update tables

  • stevyn Dec 1, 2011 @ 13:35

    You legend. Thank you :)

  • Re@lBanda Jan 25, 2012 @ 4:00

    Small modification in 3rd step… according to the mysql documentation, the password should be typed within single quotes instead of double quotes. But double quotes works. Refer the example below…

    mysql> UPDATE user SET Password=PASSWORD(‘NEW-PASSWORD-HERE’) WHERE User=’tom’;

    Another thing to mention, make sure you change the password for both the local and remote users because if a remote application server (ex-jboss) or in php connecting to mysql server it will still be needed the old password since it is remaining unchanged.

    So according to this scenario the proper commands should be…

    mysql> UPDATE user SET Password=PASSWORD(‘NEW-PASSWORD-HERE’) WHERE User=’tom’ AND Host=’local’;

    mysql> UPDATE user SET Password=PASSWORD(‘NEW-PASSWORD-HERE’) WHERE User=’tom’ AND Host=’%’;

    • Re@lBanda Jan 25, 2012 @ 4:42

      Forgot to mentioned….

      the first single command will do the password change for local and remote which is..

      mysql> UPDATE user SET Password=PASSWORD(‘NEW-PASSWORD-HERE’) WHERE User=’tom’;

  • Silvio Mar 6, 2012 @ 12:26

    I did installed a xampp and mysql don’t change the root password in this time.

    SET PASSWORD FOR ‘root’@’localhost’ = PASSWORD(‘<the_my_password'); gives Query OK, 0 rows affected.

  • mjt Sep 9, 2014 @ 4:40

    thx alot

  • archana Apr 20, 2016 @ 18:27

    Very quick tips, helpful

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