Syntax

SET NAMES {'charset_name'
    [COLLATE 'collation_name'] | DEFAULT}

Description

Sets the character_set_client, character_set_connection, character_set_results and, implicitly, the collation_connection session system variables to the specified character set and collation.

This determines which character set the client will use to send statements to the server, and the server will use for sending results back to the client.

ucs2, utf16, and utf32 are not valid character sets for SET NAMES, as they cannot be used as client character sets.

The collation clause is optional. If not defined (or if DEFAULT is specified), the default collation for the character set will be used.

Quotes are optional for the character set or collation clauses.

Examples

SELECT VARIABLE_NAME, SESSION_VALUE 
  FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.SYSTEM_VARIABLES WHERE 
  VARIABLE_NAME LIKE 'character_set_c%' OR 
  VARIABLE_NAME LIKE 'character_set_re%' OR 
  VARIABLE_NAME LIKE 'collation_c%';
+--------------------------+-----------------+
| VARIABLE_NAME            | SESSION_VALUE   |
+--------------------------+-----------------+
| CHARACTER_SET_RESULTS    | utf8            |
| CHARACTER_SET_CONNECTION | utf8            |
| CHARACTER_SET_CLIENT     | utf8            |
| COLLATION_CONNECTION     | utf8_general_ci |
+--------------------------+-----------------+

SET NAMES big5;

SELECT VARIABLE_NAME, SESSION_VALUE 
  FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.SYSTEM_VARIABLES WHERE 
  VARIABLE_NAME LIKE 'character_set_c%' OR 
  VARIABLE_NAME LIKE 'character_set_re%' OR 
  VARIABLE_NAME LIKE 'collation_c%';
+--------------------------+-----------------+
| VARIABLE_NAME            | SESSION_VALUE   |
+--------------------------+-----------------+
| CHARACTER_SET_RESULTS    | big5            |
| CHARACTER_SET_CONNECTION | big5            |
| CHARACTER_SET_CLIENT     | big5            |
| COLLATION_CONNECTION     | big5_chinese_ci |
+--------------------------+-----------------+

SET NAMES 'latin1' COLLATE 'latin1_bin';

SELECT VARIABLE_NAME, SESSION_VALUE 
  FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.SYSTEM_VARIABLES WHERE 
  VARIABLE_NAME LIKE 'character_set_c%' OR 
  VARIABLE_NAME LIKE 'character_set_re%' OR 
  VARIABLE_NAME LIKE 'collation_c%';
+--------------------------+---------------+
| VARIABLE_NAME            | SESSION_VALUE |
+--------------------------+---------------+
| CHARACTER_SET_RESULTS    | latin1        |
| CHARACTER_SET_CONNECTION | latin1        |
| CHARACTER_SET_CLIENT     | latin1        |
| COLLATION_CONNECTION     | latin1_bin    |
+--------------------------+---------------+

SET NAMES DEFAULT;

SELECT VARIABLE_NAME, SESSION_VALUE 
  FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.SYSTEM_VARIABLES WHERE 
  VARIABLE_NAME LIKE 'character_set_c%' OR 
  VARIABLE_NAME LIKE 'character_set_re%' OR 
  VARIABLE_NAME LIKE 'collation_c%';
+--------------------------+-------------------+
| VARIABLE_NAME            | SESSION_VALUE     |
+--------------------------+-------------------+
| CHARACTER_SET_RESULTS    | latin1            |
| CHARACTER_SET_CONNECTION | latin1            |
| CHARACTER_SET_CLIENT     | latin1            |
| COLLATION_CONNECTION     | latin1_swedish_ci |
+--------------------------+-------------------+

See Also

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