We have a large table in a database that a user tried to run DELETE * FROM table on. It was still running the next day so we killed the process.

I tried renaming, dropping and truncating the affected table, and even the whole database but any query ends up Waiting for table metadata lock. I can query from the table though.

All info I can find suggests there will be a process somewhere that is still going, but I've rebooted the server and the issue persists.

It's a staging server with multiple other databases so it's reasonably busy, but I don't see problems elsewhere and I can add and drop other databases. It's just this one database that seems to have the problem.

After enabling the performance schema I see some entries in performance_schema.metadata_locks table like the following:

table of metadata_locks

I'm not sure what the dictionary_impl.cc:434 refers to but I don't see anything in INFORMATION_SCHEMA.PROCESSLIST relating to this.

The tables referenced in the locks table are all from the database I'm trying to drop.

  • truncate the tables before dropping them
    – nbk
    Mar 26 at 15:21
  • Updated the question, it's now not possible to truncate the table
    – George
    Mar 26 at 16:18
  • restart the ec2 from the panel, somthing is iin a deadlock
    – nbk
    Mar 26 at 16:43
  • Have you checked: select * from performance_schema.metadata_locks;? That PS view should be enabled by default on MySQL 8, but if it isn't, that's an issue for AWS support to answer. Mar 26 at 17:17
  • I've enabled the performance_schema now, but not sure how to interpret the results…
    – George
    Mar 26 at 18:12

1 Answer 1


I had wrongly assumed that metadata locks would not survive a server restart. After reading the manual on Metadata locking in MySQL8 and confirming there were no active processes trying to maintain a lock on the table it was simply a case of running:


Once that was done, I was able to run queries again on the table and database.

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