Check if a table exists in MySQL from PHP

Sometimes its necessary to execute a query or execute some code if a table exists or not. So a bit of searching got me to the conclusion that mysql doesn’t have a direct query or method for it from php. So there are two methods to do it.

  • Use the mysql command show tables . Which will give me the list of tables and then parse and check if the table I want is present or not
  • Use the php function to get the list of tables and check if the table needed is present in that list.

I felt the second method is better suited and so I will explain that method only.
So the method is simple. Just get the list of tables in a database by using the function mysql_list_tables and iterate thought the list to check if the table exists or not and return true or false accordingly. So here is the code.

function tableExists($tablename) {

	// Get a list of tables contained within the database.
	$result = mysql_list_tables("DBNAME");
	$rcount = mysql_num_rows($result);

	// Check each in list for a match.
	for ($i=0;$i<$rcount;$i++) {
		if (mysql_tablename($result, $i)==$tablename) return true;
	return false;

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  1. #1 by słomki do napojów on December 1, 2013 - 4:04 am

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to
    be actually something which I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I’m looking forward
    for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

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