SET PASSWORD [FOR user] auth_option
[RETAIN CURRENT PASSWORD]
| TO RANDOM
The SET PASSWORD statement assigns a password to a MySQL user account.
The password may be either explicitly specified in the statement or
randomly generated by MySQL. The statement may also include a
password-verification clause that specifies the account current
password to be replaced, and a clause that manages whether an account
has a secondary password. 'auth_string' and 'current_auth_string' each
represent a cleartext (unencrypted) password.
Rather than using SET PASSWORD to assign passwords, ALTER USER is the
preferred statement for account alterations, including assigning
passwords. For example:
ALTER USER user IDENTIFIED BY 'auth_string';
Clauses for random password generation, password verification, and
secondary passwords apply only to accounts that use an authentication
plugin that stores credentials internally to MySQL. For accounts that
use a plugin that performs authentication against a credentials system
that is external to MySQL, password management must be handled
externally against that system as well. For more information about
internal credentials storage, see
The REPLACE 'current_auth_string' clause performs password verification
and is available as of MySQL 8.0.13. If given:
o REPLACE specifies the account current password to be replaced, as a
cleartext (unencrypted) string.
o The clause must be given if password changes for the account are
required to specify the current password, as verification that the
user attempting to make the change actually knows the current
o The clause is optional if password changes for the account may but
need not specify the current password.
o The statement fails if the clause is given but does not match the
current password, even if the clause is optional.
o REPLACE can be specified only when changing the account password for
the current user.
For more information about password verification by specifying the
current password, see
The RETAIN CURRENT PASSWORD clause implements dual-password capability
and is available as of MySQL 8.0.14. If given:
o RETAIN CURRENT PASSWORD retains an account current password as its
secondary password, replacing any existing secondary password. The
new password becomes the primary password, but clients can use the
account to connect to the server using either the primary or
secondary password. (Exception: If the new password specified by the
SET PASSWORD statement is empty, the secondary password becomes empty
as well, even if RETAIN CURRENT PASSWORD is given.)
o If you specify RETAIN CURRENT PASSWORD for an account that has an
empty primary password, the statement fails.
o If an account has a secondary password and you change its primary
password without specifying RETAIN CURRENT PASSWORD, the secondary
password remains unchanged.
For more information about use of dual passwords, see
SET PASSWORD permits these auth_option syntaxes:
o = 'auth_string'
Assigns the account the given literal password.
o TO RANDOM
Assigns the account a password randomly generated by MySQL. The
statement also returns the cleartext password in a result set to make
it available to the user or application executing the statement.
For details about the result set and characteristics of randomly
generated passwords, see
Random password generation is available as of MySQL 8.0.18.
Under some circumstances, SET PASSWORD may be recorded in server logs
or on the client side in a history file such as ~/.mysql_history, which
means that cleartext passwords may be read by anyone having read access
to that information. For information about the conditions under which
this occurs for the server logs and how to control it, see
similar information about client-side logging, see
SET PASSWORD can be used with or without a FOR clause that explicitly
names a user account:
o With a FOR user clause, the statement sets the password for the named
account, which must exist:
SET PASSWORD FOR 'jeffrey'@'localhost' = 'auth_string';
o With no FOR user clause, the statement sets the password for the
SET PASSWORD = 'auth_string';
Any client who connects to the server using a nonanonymous account
can change the password for that account. (In particular, you can
change your own password.) To see which account the server
authenticated you as, invoke the CURRENT_USER() function:
If a FOR user clause is given, the account name uses the format
SET PASSWORD FOR 'bob'@'%.example.org' = 'auth_string';
The host name part of the account name, if omitted, defaults to '%'.
SET PASSWORD interprets the string as a cleartext string, passes it to
the authentication plugin associated with the account, and stores the
result returned by the plugin in the account row in the mysql.user
system table. (The plugin is given the opportunity to hash the value
into the encryption format it expects. The plugin may use the value as
specified, in which case no hashing occurs.)
Setting the password for a named account (with a FOR clause) requires
the UPDATE privilege for the mysql system schema. Setting the password
for yourself (for a nonanonymous account with no FOR clause) requires
no special privileges.
Statements that modify secondary passwords require these privileges:
o The APPLICATION_PASSWORD_ADMIN privilege is required to use the
RETAIN CURRENT PASSWORD clause for SET PASSWORD statements that apply
to your own account. The privilege is required to manipulate your own
secondary password because most users require only one password.
o If an account is to be permitted to manipulate secondary passwords
for all accounts, it should be granted the CREATE USER privilege
rather than APPLICATION_PASSWORD_ADMIN.
When the read_only system variable is enabled, SET PASSWORD requires
the CONNECTION_ADMIN privilege (or the deprecated SUPER privilege), in
addition to any other required privileges.