How to Solve MySQL Error: Access denied for user root@localhost

January 13, 2020

Introduction

Most MySQL users encountered the ERROR 1698 (28000): Access denied for user ‘root’@’localhost’. This error message usually appears for new installations of MySQL when you try to connect to MySQL with the root user.

This guide will show you how to quickly resolve the access denied for user root on localhost. The outlined instructions apply to both MySQL and MariaDB. There will be no need to modify any tables or to perform complex configuration.

Introduction to the article on resolving the "Access denied for root user" MySQL error.

Prerequisites

  • Access to a command line or terminal window
  • MySQL or MariaDB installed
  • User with sudo or root privileges

Using Root to Access MySQL

When you install MySQL and try to access it on the local machine with the root user, the command you use is:

mysql -u root -p

In most cases, you will receive the error message Access denied for user ‘root’@’localhost’.

Access denied for user root localhost error message.

You can enable access for root using one MySQL command.

Solve Access Denied for User Root Error

To be able to log into MySQL as root, first use sudo to modify the root user:

sudo mysql

Enter your password at the prompt. A MySQL shell loads.

Logging in with MySQL sudo command and its output.

Use the ALTER USER command and change the authentication method to log into MySQL as root:

ALTER USER 'root'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED WITH mysql_native_password BY 'insert_password';
Alter user MySQL command output.

This command changes the password for the user root and sets the authentication method to mysql_native_password. This is a traditional method for authentication, and it is not as secure as auth_plugin. In the example above, we set “root” as the password, but we encourage you to set a stronger password.

Test Root User MySQL Access

After you run the commands listed above, exit the MySQL shell by pressing CTRL + D on your keyboard or type exit; and hit enter. There is no need to restart the mysqld service to log in.

Now try again to access MySQL with root. In the terminal, type in:

mysql -u root -p

Enter the password you used with the ALTER USER command. Do not type in the system password to access MySQL as it will not work. If everything worked fine, you should see the MySQL welcome message.

NOTE: The ALTER USER command may not work for MySQL and MariaDB versions older than 5.7.6 and 10.1.20 respectively.

Conclusion

Now you know how to bypass the MySQL ERROR 1698 (28000): Access denied for user ‘root’@’localhost’.

There are different ways to approach this issue, but we selected the easiest and fastest method. Make sure to enter the commands as listed in the article to avoid errors in SQL syntax.

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Goran Jevtic
Goran combines his passions for research, writing and technology as a technical writer at phoenixNAP. Working with multiple departments and on a variety of projects, he has developed extraordinary understanding of cloud and virtualization technology trends and best practices.
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