How to Find and Kill a MySQL Process

April 5, 2024


Unnecessary MySQL processes sometimes lead to system performance issues. When active threads accumulate over time, they consume system resources and cause the server to become unresponsive. This prevents users from accessing tables or executing requests, impacting overall system performance.

Learning to terminate unnecessary processes is essential to maintain MySQL server's optimal state and responsiveness.

This guide will show you how to find and kill a MySQL process.

How to Find and Kill a MySQL Process


How to Find MySQL Process

Before killing a process, you must locate it. To do that, take the following steps:

1. Access MySQL server with:

mysql -u root -p
mysql -u root -p terminal output

Type in the password when prompted. When the MySQL shell loads, the prompt displays mysql>.

2. Load the list with all active sessions:


The output displays the following information:

SHOW PROCESSLIST; terminal output

3. Note the Id of the process you want to kill, as it will be needed later. In this example, it's the process with Id 10.

How to Kill MySQL Process

Understanding how to terminate MySQL processes is crucial for managing server resources, addressing performance concerns, and dealing with problematic queries or connections. The following text presents several ways to terminate a MySQL process.

Via the KILL Command

To kill a MySQL session, use the KILL command followed by the Id noted earlier. For instance, to kill the process with Id 10, run:

KILL 10;
KILL 10; terminal output

The shell displays the query status and the number of affected rows: "Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)." This query ends the connection to the database, including all operations associated with the connection. To confirm the termination, run:

SHOW PROCESSLIST; terminal output after termination

The output only shows two running processes (process Ids change over time), confirming one process is successfully ended.


The CONCAT function in MySQL is used to combine strings. While it doesn't directly kill processes, it is used in a query to create KILL commands for ending processes linked to a specific user. This involves fetching process Ids from the information_schema.processlist table and merging them with KILL and ; to form the KILL commands. This method streamlines the termination of MySQL processes associated with a particular user.

Take these steps to kill a MySQL process with the CONCAT command:

1. Create a list of <strong>KILL</strong> commands for processes associated with the specific user (in this case root):

SELECT CONCAT('KILL ', id, ';') FROM information_schema.processlist WHERE user='root' INTO OUTFILE '/var/lib/mysql-files/process_list.txt';
create a list of kill commands terminal output

This command generates a KILL command list for processes associated with the root user in the information_schema.processlist table. It then saves these commands to a file named process_list.txt in the /var/lib/mysql-files/ directory.

2. Execute SQL statements from the file process_list.txt.

SOURCE /var/lib/mysql-files/process_list.txt';
mysql source terminal output

Via MySQL Command-Line Client

The mysqladmin utility is a command-line tool for MySQL server administration, providing various functionalities for managing databases, users, and server configurations. Many mysqladmin commands work without logging in to the MySQL server.

To kill a process using this command line client, follow these steps:

1. List MySQL processes with:

sudo mysqladmin processlist
sudo mysqladmin processlist terminal output

2. Locate the process you want to terminate. In this example, it's the process with the Id 13.

3. Terminate the process with:

sudo mysqladmin kill 13

The command has no output.

4. Verify the process is terminated by listing all processes again:

sudo mysqladmin processlist
sudo mysqladmin processlist terminal output after termination

The output shows the process is terminated.

Via MySQL Workbench Tool

Another way to terminate a MySQL process is with the MySQL Workbench. Take the following steps to end a process this way:

1. Launch MySQL Workbench and establish a connection to your MySQL server.

Note: MySQL server connection attempts sometimes result in an error. Learn how to fix one of the more common MySQL errors: Access denied for user root@localhost.

2. Open a new query.

open a new query in Workbench

3. Write the query to list MySQL processes with:

SHOW PROCESSLIST query in Workbench

4. Execute the query by clicking the lightning bolt icon or pressing Ctrl+Enter.

execute the query in Workbench

5. Choose a process to terminate. For instance, process with an Id 17.

6. Write the query to end the process:

KILL 17;

write the KILL query in Workbench

7. Execute the query.

execute the KILL query in Workbench

The window bottom section shows one less process confirming successful termination.


This guide outlines four different ways to find and kill MySQL processes. Use the method that you find easiest to employ.

Next, learn how to start, stop, and restart the MySQL server.

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Goran Jevtic
Goran combines his leadership skills and passion for research, writing, and technology as a Technical Writing Team Lead at phoenixNAP. Working with multiple departments and on various projects, he has developed an extraordinary understanding of cloud and virtualization technology trends and best practices.
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