How to Rename an SQL Table

There are a number of reasons why you may need to rename a table in your SQL Database. Whatever the case may be, the process is super-easy. In this post, I share 2 different ways you can rename an existing table in the Oracle Database. Continue reading and learn how…

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I am using Oracle SQL for the examples in this post. Most SQL implementations should have similar ALTER TABLE syntax but be sure and check your RDBMS’s documentation for specifics.

Rename Table With ALTER TABLE DDL Command

I have a simple one-column table, NAMES, that I want to rename:

DESC names;
Describe NAMES Table.

In order to change the name of a table, you use the SQL ALTER TABLE DDL command. ALTER TABLE syntax is straightforward when renaming a table:

Table names has been altered

Using the DESC command, we can see nothing else changed with the table but the name (now named FIRST_NAMES). The same FIRST_NAME column is still there:

Description of FIRST_NAMES table.

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Rename Table in Oracle SQL Developer

It is also quite easy to rename an existing table using the Oracle SQL Developer IDE.

Start by right-clicking the table you want to rename in the Tables pane of Oracle SQL Developer and click Edit from the menu:

Choose table to rename in menu

Upon clicking Edit, the visual dialogue interface shown below opens. The 2nd field from the top is the Name field and displays the current table name:

Oracle SQL Developer dialogue interface

Input the new table name in the Name field section. In this example, I am choosing IMPORTANT_NAMES as the new table name. Be sure and click the OK button at the bottom to hold the changes:

Rename table and save in SQL Developer Alter Table Dialogue Interface.

To confirm the action was successful, revisit the Tables pane where you can see the renamed table.

Shown in the below screenshot, the table formally named FIRST_NAMES has been renamed to IMPORTANT_NAMES:

Renamed table IMPORTANT_NAMES in table menu.

And there are 2 examples of how you can rename an existing table in your Oracle Database. If you have any questions or see any problems in the code, please add a comment. Thank you.

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Josh Otwell has a passion to study and grow as a SQL Developer and blogger. Other favorite activities find him with his nose buried in a good book, article, or the Linux command line. Among those, he shares a love of tabletop RPG games, reading fantasy novels, and spending time with his wife and two daughters.

Disclaimer: The examples presented in this post are hypothetical ideas of how to achieve similar types of results. They are not the utmost best solution(s). The majority, if not all, of the examples provided, are performed on a personal development/learning workstation-environment and should not be considered production quality or ready. Your particular goals and needs may vary. Use those practices that best benefit your needs and goals. Opinions are my own.

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