MySQL Table – Add New Column

When you create a table, it is not always obvious then about the columns that you need. Change with the requirements and time may demand for a new column to be added to the table.

In this tutorial, a detailed process is provided in steps to add a new column to an existing MySQL Table.

Syntax – Add New Column

To insert a new column to to an existing MySQL Table, following is the syntax of the query:

ALTER TABLE table_name
ADD [COLUMN] new_column_name column_definition [FIRST|AFTER existing_column];


  • table_name is the name of the MySQL table to which new column has to be added
  • mentioning [COLUMN] is optional
  • new_column_name is the name that you would like to provide for the new column you are adding
  • column_definition include data type of the column, characterset, default value, unique or not, etc.
  • [FIRST|LAST] use FIRST if you want to place the new_column_name before all other columns or AFTER if you want to place the new_column_name after existing_column.

Example 1 – Add Column to MySQL Table

In this example, we shall add a new column to the students table whose structure is given below:

Describe MySQL Table structure

Now we shall add a new column, named id which shall be the PRIMARY key and AUTO_INCREMENT for every new record.

We shall execute the following query to add id column to students table.

MySQL add column to table

Let us see the students table structure.

MySQL after adding a new column to the table

Now, we shall see the contents of the table.

MySQL Table data with newly added column


In this MySQL Tutorial, we learned to add a new column to an existing MySQL Table.