How to Find Things in a MySQL Database

Most modern websites run on some type of dynamic content management system. Many of them are powered by MySQL databases. In the event that you need to manually search for some information, there are two primary ways that you can search your database: 1) the MySQL command-line interface, and 2) a web-based interface like phpMyAdmin.

Command line:

As a server system administrator, you should have full command-line access to your MySQL server. This is the most direct approach to accessing it. First, login to your mysql database:

mysql -u username -p

It should present a mysql prompt “mysql>”

Next, use the “SELECT” command to search your databases. For example, if you wanted to know which records with the title “sales” have the number “44”, you would enter:

mysql> SELECT * FROM [table name] WHERE title = “Sales” AND number = ’44’;


To search in phpMyAdmin, you simply need to login, select your database, and click “Search”. Next, type in your search terms, select your options, and finally click “Go”.

In both instances, you should be able to quickly find whatever you need within your mysql database. For more information about search and MySQL queries in general, see the online documentation.