Addressing MySQL Error 1132: Privilege Requirements for Updating User Passwords

When administering MySQL databases, you might encounter Error 1132, which corresponds to SQLSTATE: 42000 (ER_PASSWORD_NOT_ALLOWED). The error message You must have privileges to update tables in the mysql database to be able to change passwords for others clearly indicates a permissions issue. In essence, the user attempting to change another user’s password does not have the necessary privileges to do so.

Understanding Error 1132

To resolve this error, you need to ensure that the user account you’re using to change the password has the appropriate privileges. The MySQL server enforces security by requiring specific privileges for different types of operations, and altering user credentials is a sensitive action that is typically reserved for administrative users.

Diagnosing and Fixing Error 1132

Check Current User Privileges

First, verify the privileges of the current user with the following SQL statement:


Look for the UPDATE privilege on the mysql database. If it’s not there, you will need to obtain it before you can change passwords for other users.

Granting Necessary Privileges

An administrative user, such as ‘root’, will need to grant the necessary privileges. Here’s how the ‘root’ user or another user with the GRANT OPTION can grant the UPDATE privilege on the mysql database to your user:

GRANT UPDATE ON mysql.* TO 'your_user'@'your_host';

Replace 'your_user' and 'your_host' with the appropriate username and hostname.

Flushing Privileges

After granting the necessary privileges, you may need to execute the FLUSH PRIVILEGES command to ensure that the changes take effect:


Changing Passwords

With the appropriate privileges, you can now change another user’s password. In MySQL 5.7.6 and later, you would use the ALTER USER statement:

ALTER USER 'other_user'@'other_host' IDENTIFIED BY 'new_password';

In MySQL 5.7.5 and earlier, you would use the SET PASSWORD statement:

SET PASSWORD FOR 'other_user'@'other_host' = PASSWORD('new_password');

Sample Code

Here’s a complete example of how an administrative user can grant privileges and then change a password for another user:

-- As the administrative user, grant the necessary privileges
GRANT UPDATE ON mysql.* TO 'your_user'@'your_host';

-- Flush the privileges to ensure the server applies the changes

-- Now, as 'your_user', change the password for 'other_user'
ALTER USER 'other_user'@'other_host' IDENTIFIED BY 'new_password';


Error 1132 in MySQL is a reminder of the importance of proper privilege management within the database server. By ensuring that your user account has the necessary UPDATE privilege on the mysql database, you can perform password changes for other users securely and effectively. Always approach privilege changes with caution, as they can have significant security implications for your database environment.

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