In MySQL 5.6.27, user 'bmcrae' has create user privileges and is able to create a new user. However, when trying to change another user's password:

 SQL: SET PASSWORD FOR 'newuser' = PASSWORD('***************');

I am getting an "access denied" error:

Access denied for user 'bmcrae'@'%' to database 'mysql'

I have re-read the relevant MySQL documentation and not found anyone else having such issues. Any advice?

1 Answer 1


According to MySQL documentation, in order to change a password of a user, bmcrae must have UPDATE privilege for the mysql database.

To check the privileges of the user bmcrae, run the following command:

show grants for 'bmcrae'@'hostname';


Show grants for bmcrae;

And check whether, the user bmcrae has UPDATE privilege on mysql database.

If the bmcrae doesn't have that privileges, grant update privilege to bmcrae user.

Login as a root user and run the following statement to grant update statement to bmcrae user.

grant update on mysql.* to 'bmcrae'@'hostname';

Warning: If you grant update privileges on mysql database, the bmcrae user can update all tables of mysql database.

  • Indeed; after looking further I found that requirement as well. (I wish it were more clear in the CREATE_USER privilege documentation.) I was concerned about giving such broad privileges, and even tried limiting to the Password column, but that is insufficient: GRANT UPDATE (Password) ON mysql.user TO 'bmcrae'; What was also insufficient was to limit to the user table: GRANT UPDATE ON mysql.user TO 'bmcrae'; So, I guess I will need to allow UPDATE privileges to the mysql database. Thanks for the speedy & accurate reply. May 25, 2016 at 15:21

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