Resolving MySQL Error 1165: Dealing with ER_DELAYED_INSERT_TABLE_LOCKED

If you’re working with MySQL and encounter the Error 1165 – SQLSTATE: HY000 (ER_DELAYED_INSERT_TABLE_LOCKED), it means you’ve attempted to perform an INSERT DELAYED operation on a table that is currently locked using LOCK TABLES. This error prevents the delayed insert from being executed because the table’s locked state is incompatible with the delayed insert mechanism.

Understanding the Error

The INSERT DELAYED statement is specific to certain storage engines like MyISAM and MEMORY, and it queues the inserts to be executed later when the table is not in use. However, if the table is explicitly locked with LOCK TABLES, MySQL cannot queue the insert, leading to Error 1165.

Diagnosing the Problem

To diagnose this issue, consider the following steps:

  1. Identify the Locked Table: Determine which table is causing the error. The error message itself will indicate the table name.
  2. Review Your Code: Look for any LOCK TABLES statements in your code that might be preceding the INSERT DELAYED statement.
  3. Check for Concurrent Operations: Ensure there are no other operations holding a lock on the table when the INSERT DELAYED is attempted.

Fixing the Error

Here are several strategies to fix Error 1165:

  1. Remove LOCK TABLES Statement:
    If you have control over the queries, remove the LOCK TABLES statement before the INSERT DELAYED. For example:
   UNLOCK TABLES; -- Unlock the table if previously locked
   INSERT DELAYED INTO your_table_name (column1, column2) VALUES (value1, value2);
  1. Use Regular INSERT Statement:
    Replace INSERT DELAYED with a standard INSERT statement if the table must be locked during the operation.
   INSERT INTO your_table_name (column1, column2) VALUES (value1, value2);
  1. Check Application Logic:
    Ensure that your application logic does not unnecessarily lock tables that will receive delayed inserts.
  2. Optimize Table Access:
    If your application requires frequent inserts, consider strategies to minimize locking, such as using transactions, optimizing queries, or revising the table’s indexing.
  3. Consider Server Variables:
    Adjust relevant server variables like low_priority_updates if you prefer INSERT operations to take lower priority without using INSERT DELAYED.
   SET low_priority_updates = 1;
   INSERT INTO your_table_name (column1, column2) VALUES (value1, value2);
  1. Monitor and Optimize Locks:
    Use monitoring tools or commands like SHOW OPEN TABLES to identify locking issues and optimize table access patterns.


Error 1165 (ER_DELAYED_INSERT_TABLE_LOCKED) arises from a conflict between delayed inserts and table locks. By carefully managing table locks, choosing appropriate insert methods, and optimizing table access, you can prevent this error from occurring. Always ensure you have a good understanding of your application’s concurrency requirements and MySQL’s locking behavior to maintain a smooth operation of your database systems.

For more information on error codes and MySQL’s INSERT DELAYED statement, you can refer to the MySQL documentation on INSERT DELAYED and MySQL Server Error Codes and Messages.

Leave a Comment