Working with Update Join in MySQL



The UPDATE statement with the Join allows us to change rows in a table based on joined data. Often you will want to connect two tables and updated based on conditions form the joined result. In this article, we will learn how to use UPDATE Join in MySql.

The Syntax

The basic syntax of UPDATE JOIN is as follows:

UPDATE [table_name]
  JOIN [table2_name]
  column1  = value1,
  column2 = value2

Getting Setup

We will be using docker in this article, but feel free to install your database locally instead. Once you have docker installed, create a new file called docker-compose.yml and add the following.

version: '3'
    image: mysql:latest
    container_name: db
      MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD: root_pass
      MYSQL_DATABASE: app_db
      MYSQL_USER: db_user
      MYSQL_PASSWORD: db_user_pass
      - "6033:3306"
      - dbdata:/var/lib/mysql
    image: phpmyadmin/phpmyadmin
    container_name: pma
      - db
      PMA_HOST: db
      PMA_PORT: 3306
    restart: always
      - 8081:80


Next, run docker-compose up.

Now, navigate to http://localhost:8081/ to access phpMyAdmin. Then log in with the username root and pass root_pass.

Click the SQL tab and you are ready to go.

Creating a DB

In this article, we will need some data to work with. We will be using the sample db provided here: However, we will only enter what we need rather than import the whole db.

With the SQL tab open (or your own sql cli going), let's first create our DB and select it.

create DATABASE if not EXISTS sakila;

USE sakila;
CREATE TABLE employees (
    emp_no      INT             NOT NULL,
    birth_date  DATE            NOT NULL,
    first_name  VARCHAR(14)     NOT NULL,
    last_name   VARCHAR(16)     NOT NULL,
    gender      ENUM ('M','F')  NOT NULL,    
    hire_date   DATE            NOT NULL,
    PRIMARY KEY (emp_no)
CREATE TABLE salaries (
    emp_no      INT             NOT NULL,
    salary      INT             NOT NULL,
    from_date   DATE            NOT NULL,
    to_date     DATE            NOT NULL,
    FOREIGN KEY (emp_no) REFERENCES employees (emp_no) ON DELETE CASCADE,
    PRIMARY KEY (emp_no, from_date)

Now, let's enter a few rows

INSERT INTO `employees` VALUES (10001,'1953-09-02','Georgi','Facello','M','1986-06-26'),
INSERT INTO `salaries` VALUES (10001,60117,'1986-06-26','1987-06-26'),

An Example

Let's start an example where we update an employee name. Notice that we use the WHERE clause to ensure we update the correct row.

UPDATE employees
	JOIN salaries AS s ON employees.emp_no = s.emp_no
SET first_name = 'Alex',
	last_name = 'Tam',
	s.salary = 8000
WHERE s.salary < 70000;

We often want to update only a single row or multiple rows based on a condition. However, it is worth noting that we can update all rows in the db if we leave off the WHERE clause.

This will update all employees and salaries.

UPDATE employees
	JOIN salaries AS s ON employees.emp_no = s.emp_no
SET first_name = 'Alex',
	last_name = 'Tam',
	s.salary = 8000