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SQL DROP TABLE


David Haertzen David Haertzen, Tutorial Author
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SQL > SQL Administration > SQL DROP TABLE Statement


What is the SQL DROP TABLE Statement?

The SQL DROP TABLE statement is the SQL command that removes an entire SQL table.

Why Use the SQL DROP TABLE Statement?

When a SQL table must be removed, use the SQL DROP TABLE statement.

For example, you may have a created a temporary table to stored a report. When the report analysis is complete, you may wish the "clean up" the database by removing the table.

Dropping tables have the benefit of:

  • reducing confusion
  • reducing disk space and resource requirements

BEWARE! Dropping a table results in losing data.

How To Use the SQL DROP TABLE Statement

The SQL DROP TABLE command is used as follows.

SQL DROP TABLE Statement Syntax

 
DROP <table_name> ( <column_list>
 

Before executing a DROP statement you may need or want to:

  • Backup data
  • Remove / drop dependent information such as constraints (foreign keys).

An error condition may occur for a DROP TABLE statement if there are existing constraints such as foreign keys that are dependent on the table.

SQL DROP TABLE Statement Example

The following example drops an existing table named PERSON.

 
DROP TABLE person
 

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