The SQL DELETE statement is used to delete records from a table whereas the DROP statement is used to delete a table or a database.

The TRUNCATE TABLE statement can also be used to delete records from a table.

Deleting Records From a Table

The DELETE statement in SQL is used to delete records from a database table. We can remove all records from a table or delete specific records using the WHERE clause.

DELETE FROM table_name
WHERE condition;

SQL DELETE Statement Examples

Let’s assume we have a table called “Employees” with the following records:

+------------+-----------+----------+------------+
| EmployeeID | FirstName | LastName | Department |
+------------+-----------+----------+------------+
| 1          | Mark      | Otto     | Finance    |
| 2          | Jacob     | Thornton | IT         |
| 3          | Su        | Bird     | Marketing  |
| 4          | Sam       | Burger   | IT         |
+------------+-----------+----------+------------+

Delete a Single Record

The following code removes “Jacob Thornton” from the “Employees” table:

DELETE FROM Employees
WHERE FirstName = 'Jacob'
AND LastName = 'Thornton';

Delete All Records From a Table

The following code deletes all records from the “Employees” table:

DELETE * FROM Employees;

SQL TRUNCATE TABLE Statement

The TRUNCATE TABLE statement can also be used to delete records from a table, but not the table instead.

Example:

TRUNCATE TABLE table_name;

SQL Drop Statement

The DROP statement in SQL is used to delete a table or a database.

How to Drop a Table in SQL

The following code drops a table called “Employees”:

DROP TABLE "Employees";

How to Drop a Database in SQL

The following code drops a database called “EmployeesDB”:

DROP DATABASE "EmployeesDB";
See also