Resolving MySQL Error 1251: Client Does Not Support Authentication Protocol

Understanding the Problem

When you encounter the MySQL Error 1251, it indicates that there is a mismatch between the authentication protocol used by your MySQL client and what the server expects. This error is common after upgrading to MySQL 8.0, as it uses caching_sha2_password by default, which is not supported by older clients.

Diagnosing the Issue

To diagnose the issue, you need to check the authentication method used by the MySQL server for the user account you’re trying to connect with. You can do this by logging into the MySQL server with a client that supports the current authentication method and running the following query:

SELECT user, host, plugin FROM mysql.user WHERE user = 'your_username';

Replace 'your_username' with the actual username you’re using to connect. The plugin column will show you the authentication method being used.

Solutions to Fix Error 1251

Upgrading the Client

One straightforward solution is to upgrade your MySQL client to ensure it supports the caching_sha2_password plugin, which is the default authentication method in MySQL 8.0.

Changing the Authentication Method

If you cannot upgrade your client, you can change the user’s authentication method to mysql_native_password, which is widely supported by older clients. To do this, connect to your MySQL server as an administrator and run:

ALTER USER 'your_username'@'your_host' IDENTIFIED WITH 'mysql_native_password' BY 'your_password';

Replace 'your_username', 'your_host', and 'your_password' with your actual username, host, and password.

Using the Correct Connector

Make sure you’re using the correct connector that supports the authentication method used by your MySQL server. For example, if you’re using Node.js, you might need to install a newer version of the MySQL connector that supports the newer authentication protocol. The error message you see might suggest that the connector you’re using is not compatible with the authentication method your server requires.

Configuring the Server to Use mysql_native_password

Alternatively, you can configure your MySQL server to use mysql_native_password by default for new accounts. You can set this in the MySQL configuration file (my.cnf or my.ini), under the [mysqld] section:


After making changes to the configuration file, you’ll need to restart the MySQL server.


To resolve MySQL Error 1251, you can upgrade your client, change the user’s authentication method, use the correct connector, or configure the server to use a different default authentication method. Always ensure that any changes you make are in line with your organization’s security policies and compatibility requirements.

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