Resolving MySQL Error 1007: Database Already Exists

When working with MySQL, encountering Error 1007 (SQLSTATE: HY000) with the message “Can’t create database ‘%s’; database exists” can be a bit of a roadblock. This error occurs when you attempt to create a new database that has the same name as an existing database on the MySQL server. To diagnose and fix this issue, let’s explore several scenarios and solutions.

Understanding the Error

The Error 1007 in MySQL is pretty straightforward: you’re trying to create a database with a name that is already taken by another database on the server. MySQL requires each database to have a unique name, and if a database with the specified name exists, the creation command will fail.

Diagnosing the Issue

Before proceeding with any fixes, make sure that the database you are trying to create does indeed already exist. You can do this by listing all databases on the MySQL server:


If the database name is listed, then you’ve confirmed the cause of the error.

Fixing the Error

Scenario 1: Keep the Existing Database

If you want to keep the existing database and create a new one, simply choose a different name for the new database:

CREATE DATABASE new_unique_database_name;

Scenario 2: Replace the Existing Database

If you need to replace the existing database, you must first drop the existing database and then create a new one with the same name. Be cautious with this approach as it will permanently delete the existing database and all of its data.

DROP DATABASE existing_database_name;
CREATE DATABASE existing_database_name;

Scenario 3: Use a Conditional Check

To avoid running into this error, you can check if the database exists before attempting to create it:


This command will only create the database if it doesn’t already exist, preventing Error 1007.

Scenario 4: Rename the Existing Database

If you need to create a new database and want to keep the data from the existing one, consider renaming the existing database:

RENAME DATABASE existing_database_name TO new_database_name;

After renaming, you can create the new database with the original name:

CREATE DATABASE existing_database_name;

Note: The RENAME DATABASE command is not supported in MySQL. Instead, you would need to rename the database manually by exporting the data, creating a new database, and importing the data into it.

Scenario 5: Check for Case Sensitivity on Database Names

MySQL database names are case-sensitive on some platforms (like Unix) and not case-sensitive on others (like Windows). If you’re on a case-sensitive platform, make sure that the case of the database name is indeed unique:

CREATE DATABASE DatabaseName; -- Different from 'databasename'


By understanding the cause of Error 1007 and following the appropriate steps for your situation, you can effectively manage your MySQL databases without losing data or encountering preventable errors. Always ensure you have backups before performing operations that can result in data loss, such as dropping a database.

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