The ALTER TRIGGER command is used to modify an existing trigger in a MySQL database. Triggers are database objects that are automatically executed when specific events occur, such as inserting, updating, or deleting rows in a table. By using ALTER TRIGGER, you can change the behavior or characteristics of an existing trigger without having to drop and recreate it.


ALTER TRIGGER trigger_name
[ON table_name]
[action_time] [action_statement]


  • trigger_name: The name of the trigger you want to modify.
  • table_name: (Optional) The name of the table on which the trigger is defined. If omitted, the trigger is assumed to be defined on the current table.
  • FOR EACH ROW: Indicates that the trigger should be executed for each row that is affected by the triggering event.
  • action_time: Specifies when the trigger should be executed. Possible values are BEFORE and AFTER.
  • action_statement: The SQL statement or statements that you want the trigger to execute.


| Option | Description | Default Value |
| COMMENT=’comment’ | Adds or modifies a comment associated with the trigger. | NULL |


Example 1: Changing the Trigger Action

To change the action executed by the trigger named my_trigger from DELETE to UPDATE, you would use the following command:

ALTER TRIGGER my_trigger
UPDATE other_table
SET field1 = field2
WHERE id =;

Example 2: Adding a Trigger Comment

To add a comment to the trigger named my_trigger, you would use the following command:

ALTER TRIGGER my_trigger
COMMENT='This trigger updates the other table when a row is inserted into this table.'

Common Issues

One common issue that users may encounter when using ALTER TRIGGER is that they forget to specify the FOR EACH ROW clause. This can result in the trigger being executed only once for all affected rows, which may not be the desired behavior.

Another common issue is that users may try to modify a trigger that does not exist. To avoid this error, it is important to verify that the trigger exists before attempting to modify it.


The ALTER TRIGGER command can be combined with other MySQL commands to perform complex tasks. For example, you could use ALTER TRIGGER to update a trigger that is used to automatically create an audit trail.

  • CREATE TRIGGER: Creates a new trigger.
  • DROP TRIGGER: Drops an existing trigger.
  • SHOW TRIGGERS: Displays information about existing triggers.