UPDATE is a SQL command used to modify existing data in a database table. It allows you to change one or more rows in a table and update the values of specific columns. In this lesson, we will learn about the UPDATE statement in detail.

Update Statement in SQL

Keeping client accounts up to date within the retail industry is basic to give a great client experience. An update statement in SQL can be utilized to ensure client accounts reflect the most up-to-date information. For illustration, in the event that a client moves to a new address, an update statement can be utilized to update their address data within the database. In the event that a client changes their payment method, an updated statement can be utilized to reflect this alter. This helps ensure that clients get the most up-to-date item and service information. So let's offer assistance to them with it.

SQL (Structured Query Language) may be a programming language planned for overseeing and controlling information put away in social databases. One of the foremost commonly utilized commands in SQL is the Update statement. This explanation is utilized to adjust the values of one or more columns in a table.

The UPDATE statement follows a simple syntax:

UPDATE table_name SET column1 = value1, column2 = value2, ... WHERE condition;

The UPDATE keyword is followed by the table name you want to modify. The SET keyword specifies the new values you want to set for one or more columns in the table. WHERE clause can be used to filter rows that will be updated.

An example of how to use the UPDATE statement in SQL:

Suppose you have a table called "customers" with the following columns: "id", "first_name", "last_name", and "email". To update the email address of a customer with ID 1234, you would use the following SQL statement:

Table: Customers

UPDATE customers SET email = '' WHERE id = 1234;

This statement updates the "email" column of the "customers" table for the row with "id" 1234 to "".

Updating Multiple Columns in SQL

Multiple columns can be updated using the UPDATE statement. For example, to update the first name and last name of the customer with ID 5678, you could use the following SQL statement:

UPDATE customers SET first_name = 'John', last_name = 'Doe' WHERE id =5678;

This statement updates both the "first_name" and "last_name" columns of the "customers" table for the row with "id" 5678.

If you want to update all rows in a table, you can omit the WHERE clause. However, be careful when doing this, as it can result in unintended consequences.

In addition to updating values in a table, the UPDATE statement can be used to update values in a view. However, the view must be updatable for this to work.

Best Practices to follow while using Update Statement

  1. Always use the WHERE clause to specify which rows to update. This helps to avoid unintended updates to all rows in the table.
  2. Test the UPDATE statement on a backup copy of the table before executing it on the production data. This ensures that the update works as intended and can help avoid data loss.
  3. Use a transaction when updating data. Transactions ensure data consistency by allowing the update to be rolled back if necessary.
  4. Be careful when using the UPDATE statement with joins. Joining tables can cause unintended updates to multiple tables, so it is important to test the query carefully and use a WHERE clause to filter the results appropriately.
  5. Keep the number of columns updated to a minimum. This reduces the risk of accidentally updating the wrong column or overwriting important data.
  6. Document the changes made by the UPDATE statement. This helps to keep track of updates made to the data and can be useful for auditing purposes.
  7. Consider using stored procedures instead of ad-hoc queries for updates. Stored procedures can provide an extra layer of security and control over the update process.
  8. Always ensure that backups of the database are taken before making any updates. This helps to ensure that data can be recovered in case any issues or errors arise during the update process.


The UPDATE statement is a powerful tool in SQL that allows you to modify the data in your database. By following the syntax and using the WHERE clause wisely, you can easily update a table's specific rows or multiple columns.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Update statement is utilized to adjust existing records in a table.
  2. The syntax of the Update statement comprises of the Update keyword taken after by the name of the table, the SET keyword to indicate the columns to update, and the WHERE keyword to filter the rows to update.
  3. The SET keyword is followed by a list of column-value pairs, indicating the unused values for the columns to be updated.
  4. The WHERE clause is optional but regularly indicates a condition that decides which rows to update.
  5. The Update statement can be used to adjust one or more table columns.
  6. When updating a table, it is vital to utilize caution and test the Update statement to begin with because it can have unintended results on the off chance that not utilized accurately.
  7. The Update statement can be used to adjust values in a see, but they see must be updatable for this to work.


1. What is the purpose of the SET keyword in the UPDATE statement?  

  1. It specifies the name of the table to update 
  2. It specifies the condition for the rows to update 
  3. It specifies the new values for the columns to update 
  4. It specifies the columns to be deleted

Answer: c. It specifies the new values for the columns to update

2. Which keyword filters the rows to update in the UPDATE statement? 

  1. WHERE 
  2. FROM 
  3. HAVING 

 Answer: a. WHERE

3. Which of the following is true about the UPDATE statement? 

  1.  It can only update one column at a time 
  2. It can update multiple columns at once 
  3. It can only update rows that meet a certain condition 
  4. It can only be used to update tables, not views

Answer:b. It can update multiple columns at once

4. What happens if the WHERE clause is omitted in an UPDATE statement? 

  1. All rows in the table are updated 
  2. No rows in the table are updated 
  3.  An error occurs 
  4. The UPDATE statement cannot be executed without a WHERE clause

Answer: a. All rows in the table are updated

5. Which of the following is a best practice when using the UPDATE statement? 

  1. Always update all columns in the table 
  2. Use the WHERE clause to update only the necessary rows 
  3. Use the UPDATE statement to delete rows from the table 
  4. Use the UPDATE statement to add new rows to the table

Answer: b. Use the WHERE clause to update only the necessary rows

Module 4: DML CommandsUPDATE Query in SQL

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