Mastering MySQL Workbench Database Dumps: A Comprehensive Guide

By: Published: June 19, 2020


Do you want to backup your MySQL database? Are you not familiar with SQL queries? Don’t worry, we have you covered. This guide will take you through the steps of creating a MySQL Workbench database dump. MySQL Workbench is a unified visual tool that provides a graphical user interface to perform various MySQL operations including backups.

It can thus, easily be used by database architects, developers, and DBAs. MySQL Workbench provides data modeling, SQL development, and comprehensive administration capabilities for backup, server configuration, and user administration. It is available on the most used operating systems including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. 

If you do not have MySQL Workbench you can download it here.

Table of Contents

Top 5 Features of MySQL Workbench

MySQL Workbench provides the following features:

  • Database Migration: It provides an efficient and easy-to-use solution to migrate Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access, Sybase ASE, PostgreSQL, and other RDBMS tables, objects, and data to MySQL. It also enables migration from older to newer versions of MySQL.
  • Design: It allows for visual designing, modeling, generation, and management of databases. Moreover, it also facilitates creating complex ER models, forward and reverse engineering. It also simplifies performing difficult change management and documentation tasks that normally would be very tedious.
  • Develop: It provides visual tools required for the creation, execution, and optimization of SQL queries. The SQL Editor provides color syntax highlighting, auto-complete, reuse of SQL snippets capabilities, and also shows execution history of SQL.
  • Administer: It also delivers a visual console to easily administer MySQL environments and improve visibility into databases. These visual tools can be used for configuring servers, administering users, performing backup and recovery, inspecting audit data, and viewing database health.
  • Visual Performance Dashboard: MySQL Workbench also provides a suite of tools that can be used to quickly view key performance indicators. Performance Reports help to easily identify and access IO hotspots and high-cost SQL statements. In a single click, developers can see how to optimize their query with the improved and easy-to-use Visual Explain Plan.

What is the Importance of Backing Up Data?

The importance of backing up data regularly cannot be reiterated enough, especially for companies or organizations that have systems in production. You can lose data due to any of the following reasons:

  • Hardware failure
  • Software failure
  • Data corruption
  • A human-caused event, such as a malicious attack (virus or malware)
  • Accidental deletion of data

Backing up data enables you to restore data from a point of time in the past. This is essential in case any of the above-listed events occur. In today’s data-driven world, it is how you collect, store, and analyze your data that will give you and your organization an edge. It is thus indispensable to have proper backup and recovery systems in place. Also, read Data export MySQL Workbench.

Another important benefit is data versioning. Storing data at different points in your time allows you to restore any of the previous versions when you want to make an analysis.

Moreover, it eliminates the fear of data loss while migrating data or making changes to it as you can always revert to the original form when you like.

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Steps to Dump Database Using MySQL Workbench

Step 1: Connect to the database you want to backup by clicking on it under the MySQL connections.

MySQL Workbench Database Dump : Connecting to the database
Image Source: Self
  • You can also create a new connection by clicking on the + icon.

A “Manage Server Connections” window will open as shown.

MySQL Workbench Database Dump : Setup New Connection
Image Source: Self
  • Add a suitable connection name.
  • Set the “Connection Method” to “Standard (TCP/IP) (You can also set it to SSH connection configuration according to your requirement).
  • Add the MySQL server hostname or IP address.
  • Enter your MySQL database username.
  • You can set the password by clicking on the  “Store in Keychain…” button. You can skip this field if you don’t want to set a password.
  • Click the “Test Connection” button.
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Step 2

  • Click on “Data Export” under the “Management” tab on the left sidebar.

Step 3

  • You will get a list of available databases.
  • Click on the checkbox next to the database you want to export.
  • If you want to backup a particular table, click on the name of the database.
  • All the tables in the selected database will be shown on the right as shown.
  • Click on the checkbox next to the table.

Step 4

  • Choose the appropriate option under “Export Options.”
  • Using the “Self-Contained File” method makes it easier to restore an entire database in a disaster recovery situation. The other option, “Export to Dump Project Folder” will make separate backups of each table. The “Export to Dump Project Folder” method makes it easier to restore single tables should the need arise. Which method you should choose depends on the purpose of the backup. If you’re simply archiving the database, use “Export to Self-Contained File.”

Step 5

  • Click on “Start Export.”
  • You can track the process through “Export Progress.”


You have now learned how to use MySQL Workbench. Although efficient, it still requires you to manually backup your data each time. This process can be tedious and time-consuming. Also, read data export MySQL workbench.

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Have you ever used MySQL Workbench? Let us know in the comments section below.

Shruti Garg
Freelance Technical Content Writer, Hevo Data

With an analytical perspective and a problem-solving approach, Shruti has extensive experience in solving business problems of data teams by delivering thoroughly researched content pivotal for data practitioners.

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