The BACKUP TABLE command in MySQL provides a mechanism to create a snapshot of a MySQL table and store it as a backup file on the server’s local file system. This backup can be used to restore the database state at a specific point in time in case of data loss or corruption.


    TO 'file_name'
    [USING [param=value, ...] format_name]
    [OPTIONS ...];
  • tbl_name: The name of the table to be backed up.
  • file_name: The destination path and filename for the backup file.
  • format_name: The backup format to use. Supported formats include:
    • CSV: Comma-separated values format.
    • JSON: JSON format.
    • ROW: Binary row-based format.
  • param=value: Additional parameters specific to the chosen backup format. For example, field separators or line terminators.
  • OPTIONS: Optional flags to control the backup behavior:
    • COMPRESS: Compress the backup file.
    • DIRECTORY=dir_path: Specify a custom directory for the backup file.
    • PRESERVE ROW FORMAT: Preserve the original row format of the table.
    • MAX_ALLOWED_PACKET=value: Set the maximum allowed packet size for the backup operation.
    • USER=user_name: Specify the MySQL user to execute the backup.
    • PASSWORD=password: Specify the password for the specified user.


COMPRESS: Compresses the backup file using the default compression algorithm provided by the underlying file system.

DIRECTORY=dir_path: Specifies a custom directory path where the backup file should be stored. The user executing the backup must have write permissions to the specified directory.

PRESERVE ROW FORMAT: Preserves the original row format of the table in the backup. By default, the backup file uses a compressed, row-based format.

MAX_ALLOWED_PACKET=value: Sets the maximum allowed packet size for the backup operation. This can be useful for large backups or when experiencing packet size errors.


Simple Backup Using CSV Format:

BACKUP TABLE customer_info TO '/var/backups/customer_backup.csv';

Complex Backup Using JSON Format and Compression:

    TO '/tmp/orders_backup.json'

Common Issues

Insufficient Permissions: Ensure that the user executing the backup has the BACKUP privilege and write permissions to the specified backup directory.

File System Space: Verify that there is sufficient free space on the server’s file system to accommodate the backup file.

Incompatible Format: Make sure that the specified backup format is supported by MySQL and the underlying file system.


BACKUP TABLE can be integrated with other MySQL commands to perform advanced backup and restore operations:

  • mysqldump: Can be used to generate a complete database or schema backup, including table structures and data.
  • LOAD TABLE: Can be used to restore data from a backup file into a table.
  • mysqldumpslow: Can be used to analyze the performance of backup operations and identify potential bottlenecks.