Importing Large MySQL Database SQL Dump Files

If you have ever tried to transfer a large MySQL database you will no doubt have come across some issues. With phpMyAdmin being the most popular interface most webhosts provide it (and only this) as the way for you to interact with your databases.

Unfortunately, import an SQL dump containing your data and table structure often causes timeouts via phpMyAdmin when the database is particularly large meaning you have to import data a table at a time (or even part of a table at a time) which takes a long time and is prone to error.

In the past I have done many things from writing custom import scripts to importing the database bit by bit. I have also used desktop tools (such as the excellent Sequel Pro for Mac OS X) although many web hosts disallow external access.

Fortunately I came across an excellent, flexible import script called BigDump which takes your SQL file, splits it and automatically imports it (via javascript reloads). Script and full instructions are available at

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Do you have any tips, tricks, advice or questions about importing/exporting MySQL databases? Get involved and comment below!

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