Does MySQL Have UUID Data Type?


Heather Bennett

MySQL is a widely used relational database management system that offers a range of data types to store different types of data efficiently. One common question that often arises is whether MySQL has a UUID data type. In this article, we will explore this topic in detail.

What is a UUID?

A UUID (Universally Unique Identifier) is a 128-bit number that is globally unique and can be generated on any computer without the need for centralized coordination. It is commonly used to uniquely identify information in distributed systems or databases.

MySQL Data Types

MySQL provides various data types such as INTEGER, FLOAT, BOOLEAN, VARCHAR, and more to store different types of data. However, MySQL does not have a built-in UUID data type like some other database management systems.

If you need to store UUIDs in your MySQL database, there are several approaches you can take:

  • Use CHAR(36): You can use the CHAR(36) data type to store UUIDs as strings. The length of 36 characters allows for the standard representation of a UUID, including hyphens.
  • Create a custom data type: Another option is to create a custom data type using the BINARY(16) or VARBINARY(16) data types.

    This approach requires some additional programming logic to handle conversions between strings and binary representations of UUIDs.

  • Add a function for validation: To ensure the integrity of the stored UUIDs, you can add a validation function using triggers or stored procedures. This function can check if the inserted value is a valid UUID before storing it in the database.

Working with UUIDs in MySQL

When working with UUIDs in MySQL, you need to consider a few things:

  • Inserting UUID values: When inserting UUID values, you can use the UUID() function provided by MySQL to generate a new UUID. Alternatively, you can generate UUIDs using programming languages or frameworks and insert them as strings.
  • Indexing and searching: If you frequently search or filter data based on UUID values, it is recommended to create an index on the column storing the UUIDs.

    This improves query performance for such operations.

  • Performance considerations: Storing UUIDs as strings can have an impact on storage size and query performance compared to using native integer-based data types. However, this difference may not be significant unless you are dealing with extremely large datasets.


In summary, MySQL does not have a dedicated UUID data type. However, you can effectively store and work with UUIDs by using the CHAR(36) data type or creating custom solutions with BINARY(16) or VARBINARY(16).

Remember to implement validation mechanisms and consider indexing for efficient searching. Using proper indexing and storage techniques will help ensure optimal performance when working with large datasets containing UUIDs in your MySQL database.

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