I am trying to understand how to UPDATE multiple rows with different values and I just don't get it. The solution is everywhere but to me it looks difficult to understand.

For instance, two updates into 1 query:

UPDATE mytable SET fruit='orange', drink='water', food='pizza' WHERE id=1;

UPDATE mytable SET fruit='strawberry', drink='wine', food='fish' WHERE id=2;

I don't understand what the CASE WHEN .. THEN ... END works and how to use it.

Wonder if someone could help me on this.

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UPDATE mytable SET
    fruit = CASE WHEN id=1 THEN 'orange' ELSE 'strawberry' END,
    drink = CASE WHEN id=1 THEN 'water'  ELSE 'wine'       END,
    food  = CASE WHEN id=1 THEN 'pizza'  ELSE 'fish'       END
WHERE id IN (1,2);

Personally, using CASE WHEN THEN END looks clumsy.

You could code this using the IF function.

UPDATE mytable SET
    fruit = IF(id=1,'orange','strawberry'),
    drink = IF(id=1,'water','wine'),
    food  = IF(id=1,'pizza','fish')
WHERE id IN (1,2);

Give it a Try !!!

CAVEAT : CASE WHEN THEN END is only handy when dealing with multiple values (more than 2)

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  • Nice, I didn't knew about this IF function. Can you just explain: = IF(id=1, Why do you need this ? – user3162468 Jun 29 '14 at 4:50
  • 4
    can i use this for updating around 100k records in sinle query ? – AMB Oct 30 '15 at 1:19


You will need to write very complicated conditions if you want to update more than two rows. In such a case you can use INSERT ... ON DUPLICATE KEY UPDATE approach.

INSERT into `mytable` (id, fruit, drink, food)
    (1, 'orange', 'water', 'pizza'),
    (2, 'strawberry', 'wine', 'fish'),
    (3, 'peach', 'jiuce', 'cake')
    fruit = VALUES(fruit), 
    drink = VALUES(drink), 
    food = VALUES(food);
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  • 3
    Note that this increases the autoincrement value for the table, if you're using autoincrement. For high throughput tables that might be undesirable. More info stackoverflow.com/a/23517191/2560641 – Juliano Jan 19 '18 at 12:39

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