Addressing MySQL Error 1150 (ER_DELAYED_CANT_CHANGE_LOCK): Ensuring Successful Delayed Inserts

Encountering Error 1150 – SQLSTATE: HY000 (ER_DELAYED_CANT_CHANGE_LOCK) in MySQL can be a bit confusing. This error occurs when a delayed insert operation fails to acquire the necessary lock on a table. The message Delayed insert thread couldn't get requested lock for table %s indicates that the thread responsible for handling the DELAYED insert could not proceed due to a lock issue. Let’s explore the reasons behind this error and provide solutions to fix it.

Understanding the Error

The DELAYED option for the INSERT statement in MySQL is designed to queue inserts into a table, allowing the client to continue without waiting for the insert operation to complete. However, this approach can lead to lock contention issues when other threads are trying to read from or write to the same table.

Diagnosing the Issue

To diagnose the issue, consider the following:

  • Check for concurrent operations on the same table that might prevent the DELAYED insert from acquiring a lock.
  • Look for long-running SELECT statements, updates, or writes that could be locking the table.
  • Review the server’s workload and the number of delayed inserts queued to understand the lock contention.

Example Scenarios and Fixes

Scenario 1: Concurrent Non-delayed Inserts

Problem: Simultaneous non-delayed inserts are locking the table.

INSERT INTO my_table (column) VALUES ('value');
-- This regular insert can lock the table and block the delayed thread

Fix: Schedule non-delayed inserts during periods of lower activity or convert them to DELAYED inserts if immediate consistency is not required.

Scenario 2: Long-Running SELECT Statements

Problem: A long-running SELECT statement is holding a read lock on the table.

SELECT * FROM my_table WHERE complex_condition;
-- This could take time and prevent the delayed insert from acquiring a lock

Fix: Optimize the SELECT query to reduce execution time or run such queries when delayed inserts are not being queued.

Scenario 3: Table-Level Locks from Other Operations

Problem: Other write operations are causing table-level locks.

UPDATE my_table SET column = 'new_value' WHERE another_column = 'specific_value';
-- An update like this can lock the table and block the delayed insert

Fix: Optimize the UPDATE statement or consider using row-level locking if possible.

Scenario 4: Excessive Delayed Insert Queue

Problem: Too many delayed inserts are queued, causing a backlog.

SHOW STATUS LIKE 'Delayed_insert_threads';
-- This will show if there is a backlog of delayed insert threads

Fix: Reduce the number of delayed inserts being queued or increase server resources to handle the load more efficiently.

Scenario 5: Server Configuration Limits

Problem: Server configuration settings limit the number of concurrent inserts.

SHOW VARIABLES LIKE 'max_delayed_threads';
-- This shows the maximum number of delayed threads allowed

Fix: Adjust the max_delayed_threads setting to allow more delayed insert threads.


Error 1150 in MySQL is a sign of lock contention due to delayed insert operations. To resolve this, you need to analyze and optimize concurrent operations on the affected table, manage the delayed insert queue effectively, and adjust server configurations as needed. By taking these steps, you can ensure that delayed inserts are processed smoothly and do not interfere with the overall performance of your database.

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