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.


2 Answers 2

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)

  • Nice, I didn't knew about this IF function. Can you just explain: = IF(id=1, Why do you need this ? Commented Jun 29, 2014 at 4:50
  • 7
    can i use this for updating around 100k records in sinle query ?
    – user16108
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 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);
  • 5
    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
    Commented Jan 19, 2018 at 12:39
  • 1
    One issue with ON CONFLICT is that it doesn't work if you want to omit a NOT NULL column that doesn't need updating: stackoverflow.com/questions/48816629/… Commented Jan 13, 2023 at 5:19
  • 1
    @CiroSantilliOurBigBook.com AFAIK there are no ON CONFLICT feature in MySQL
    – Yaroslav
    Commented Jan 21, 2023 at 2:39
  • My brain JOINed both. Does ON DUPLICATE KEY UPDATE work with NULL constraint BTW on MySQL? Commented Jan 21, 2023 at 8:35

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