[sql] Drop all tables whose names begin with a certain string

How can I drop all tables whose names begin with a given string?

I think this can be done with some dynamic SQL and the INFORMATION_SCHEMA tables.

This question is related to sql sql-server dynamic-sql

The answer is


I would like to post my proposal of the solution which DROP (not just generate and select a drop commands) all tables based on the wildcard (e.g. "table_20210114") older than particular amount of days.

DECLARE 
    @drop_command NVARCHAR(MAX) = '',
    @system_time date,
    @table_date nvarchar(8),
    @older_than int = 7
    
Set @system_time = (select getdate() - @older_than)
Set @table_date = (SELECT CONVERT(char(8), @system_time, 112))

SELECT @drop_command += N'DROP TABLE ' + QUOTENAME(SCHEMA_NAME(schema_id)) + '.' + QUOTENAME([Name]) + ';'
FROM <your_database_name>.sys.tables
WHERE [Name] LIKE 'table_%' AND RIGHT([Name],8) < @table_date

SELECT @drop_command
 
EXEC sp_executesql @drop_command

SELECT 'if object_id(''' + TABLE_NAME + ''') is not null begin drop table "' + TABLE_NAME + '" end;' 
FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES 
WHERE TABLE_NAME LIKE '[prefix]%'

This will get you the tables in foreign key order and avoid dropping some of the tables created by SQL Server. The t.Ordinal value will slice the tables into dependency layers.

WITH TablesCTE(SchemaName, TableName, TableID, Ordinal) AS
(
    SELECT OBJECT_SCHEMA_NAME(so.object_id) AS SchemaName,
        OBJECT_NAME(so.object_id) AS TableName,
        so.object_id AS TableID,
        0 AS Ordinal
    FROM sys.objects AS so
    WHERE so.type = 'U'
        AND so.is_ms_Shipped = 0
        AND OBJECT_NAME(so.object_id)
        LIKE 'MyPrefix%'

    UNION ALL
    SELECT OBJECT_SCHEMA_NAME(so.object_id) AS SchemaName,
        OBJECT_NAME(so.object_id) AS TableName,
        so.object_id AS TableID,
        tt.Ordinal + 1 AS Ordinal
    FROM sys.objects AS so
        INNER JOIN sys.foreign_keys AS f
            ON f.parent_object_id = so.object_id
                AND f.parent_object_id != f.referenced_object_id
        INNER JOIN TablesCTE AS tt
            ON f.referenced_object_id = tt.TableID
    WHERE so.type = 'U'
        AND so.is_ms_Shipped = 0
        AND OBJECT_NAME(so.object_id)
        LIKE 'MyPrefix%'
)
SELECT DISTINCT t.Ordinal, t.SchemaName, t.TableName, t.TableID
FROM TablesCTE AS t
    INNER JOIN
    (
        SELECT
            itt.SchemaName AS SchemaName,
            itt.TableName AS TableName,
            itt.TableID AS TableID,
            Max(itt.Ordinal) AS Ordinal
        FROM TablesCTE AS itt
        GROUP BY itt.SchemaName, itt.TableName, itt.TableID
    ) AS tt
        ON t.TableID = tt.TableID
            AND t.Ordinal = tt.Ordinal
ORDER BY t.Ordinal DESC, t.TableName ASC

EXEC sp_MSforeachtable 'if PARSENAME("?",1) like ''%CertainString%'' DROP TABLE ?'

Edit:

sp_MSforeachtable is undocumented hence not suitable for production because it's behavior may vary depending on MS_SQL version.


This worked for me.

DECLARE @sql NVARCHAR(MAX) = N'';

SELECT @sql += '
DROP TABLE ' 
    + QUOTENAME(s.name)
    + '.' + QUOTENAME(t.name) + ';'
    FROM sys.tables AS t
    INNER JOIN sys.schemas AS s
    ON t.[schema_id] = s.[schema_id] 
    WHERE t.name LIKE 'something%';

PRINT @sql;
-- EXEC sp_executesql @sql;

In case of temporary tables, you might want to try

SELECT 'DROP TABLE "' + t.name + '"' 
FROM tempdb.sys.tables t
WHERE t.name LIKE '[prefix]%'

I had to do a slight derivation on Xenph Yan's answer I suspect because I had tables not in the default schema.

SELECT 'DROP TABLE Databasename.schema.' + TABLE_NAME 
FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES 
WHERE TABLE_NAME LIKE 'strmatch%'

Xenph Yan's answer was far cleaner than mine but here is mine all the same.

DECLARE @startStr AS Varchar (20)
SET @startStr = 'tableName'

DECLARE @startStrLen AS int
SELECT @startStrLen = LEN(@startStr)

SELECT 'DROP TABLE ' + name FROM sysobjects
WHERE type = 'U' AND LEFT(name, @startStrLen) = @startStr

Just change tableName to the characters that you want to search with.


Here is my solution:

SELECT CONCAT('DROP TABLE `', TABLE_NAME,'`;') 
FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES 
WHERE TABLE_NAME LIKE 'TABLE_PREFIX_GOES_HERE%';

And of course you need to replace TABLE_PREFIX_GOES_HERE with your prefix.


On Oracle XE this works:

SELECT 'DROP TABLE "' || TABLE_NAME || '";'
FROM USER_TABLES
WHERE TABLE_NAME LIKE 'YOURTABLEPREFIX%'

Or if you want to remove the constraints and free up space as well, use this:

SELECT 'DROP TABLE "' || TABLE_NAME || '" cascade constraints PURGE;'
FROM USER_TABLES
WHERE TABLE_NAME LIKE 'YOURTABLEPREFIX%'

Which will generate a bunch of DROP TABLE cascade constraints PURGE statements...

For VIEWS use this:

SELECT 'DROP VIEW "' || VIEW_NAME || '";'
FROM USER_VIEWS
WHERE VIEW_NAME LIKE 'YOURVIEWPREFIX%'

select 'DROP TABLE ' + name from sysobjects
where type = 'U' and sysobjects.name like '%test%'

-- Test is the table name


CREATE PROCEDURE usp_GenerateDROP
    @Pattern AS varchar(255)
    ,@PrintQuery AS bit
    ,@ExecQuery AS bit
AS
BEGIN
    DECLARE @sql AS varchar(max)

    SELECT @sql = COALESCE(@sql, '') + 'DROP TABLE [' + TABLE_NAME + ']' + CHAR(13) + CHAR(10)
    FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES
    WHERE TABLE_NAME LIKE @Pattern

    IF @PrintQuery = 1 PRINT @sql
    IF @ExecQuery = 1 EXEC (@sql)
END

I saw this post when I was looking for mysql statement to drop all WordPress tables based on @Xenph Yan here is what I did eventually:

SELECT CONCAT(  'DROP TABLE `', TABLE_NAME,  '`;' ) AS query
FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES
WHERE TABLE_NAME LIKE  'wp_%'

this will give you the set of drop queries for all tables begins with wp_


SELECT 'DROP TABLE "' + TABLE_NAME + '"' 
FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES 
WHERE TABLE_NAME LIKE '[prefix]%'

This will generate a script.

Adding clause to check existence of table before deleting:

SELECT 'IF OBJECT_ID(''' +TABLE_NAME + ''') IS NOT NULL BEGIN DROP TABLE [' + TABLE_NAME + '] END;' 
FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES 
WHERE TABLE_NAME LIKE '[prefix]%'

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