How Do You Change the Data Type of a Column in a Snowflake?


Scott Campbell

In Snowflake, changing the data type of a column is a straightforward process that can be easily achieved using the ALTER TABLE statement. This allows you to modify an existing table and update the data type of a specific column.

Step 1: Connect to Your Snowflake Account

Before you can change the data type of a column, make sure you are connected to your Snowflake account using your preferred SQL client or Snowflake’s web interface.

Step 2: Identify the Table and Column

The next step is to identify the table and column for which you want to change the data type. You need to have appropriate privileges on the table in order to make any modifications.

Step 3: Use ALTER TABLE Statement

To change the data type of a column, use the ALTER TABLE statement followed by the name of the table. Within this statement, specify the COLUMN keyword along with the name of the column you want to modify. Then, use SET DATA TYPE followed by the new desired data type for that column.

Note: Be aware that changing a column’s data type can have implications on your existing data. Ensure that you have considered any potential impacts before proceeding.


ALTER TABLE table_name
    ALTER COLUMN column_name SET DATA TYPE new_data_type;

An Example:

ALTER TABLE my_table

In this example, we are changing the data type of the column named my_column in the table my_table to VARCHAR(100). Adjust the new data type according to your specific requirements.

Step 4: Verify the Changes

After executing the ALTER TABLE statement, make sure to verify that the data type of the column has been successfully changed. You can do this by querying the table and inspecting the metadata of the column.

An Example:


This will display all columns in my_table, including their names, data types, and other relevant information. Confirm that the data type of your desired column has been updated accordingly.


In Snowflake, changing the data type of a column is a simple process using the ALTER TABLE statement. Remember to exercise caution when modifying existing columns as it can impact your existing data. Always validate your changes before proceeding further.

Note: It is recommended to take proper backups or create a replica of your table before performing any changes to ensure data integrity and avoid potential loss.

If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to change the data type of a column in Snowflake without any issues!

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