Error: MySQL Shutdown Unexpectedly - The Solution


Summary: Ever heard of the “shutdown unexpectedly” error in MySQL? There’s a good chance you did. Here’s what it is, why it appears, and how to solve it.

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So you’re checking the MySQL error log and you come across an interesting thing:

14:22:56 PM [mysql] Error: MySQL shutdown unexpectedly.

“What?”, - you think to yourself. Thankfully, MySQL doesn’t leave you on ice and provides some feedback as to why the error could’ve occurred. Here’s what it says:

“<…> May be due to a blocked port, missing dependencies, improper privileges, a crash, or a shutdown by another method. <…>”

Great! Now you, at least partly, know what could’ve caused this error.

Dig into everything you need to know with us.

What Causes The Error: MySQL Shutdown Unexpectedly?

Some of the most frequent causes of this error within any MySQL server include, but are not limited to:

  • Conflicts between MySQL Server and other applications.
  • Problems with the MySQL Configuration in the configuration file – my.cnf on Linux or my.ini on Windows.
  • A blocked port that’s supposed to be used by MySQL.

The most frequent cause of  “Error: MySQL Shutdown Unexpectedly” is a blocked port.In the old days, when people still used Skype, there was a very simple fix for Windows users – people would make Skype no longer use ports “80” or “443” as alternatives for incoming connections and the problem would go away almost instantly. These days, everything is no longer that simple. You may need to examine your my.cnf file to find clues in there or check that your firewall isn’t blocking any interaction with MySQL Server.

Solving the MySQL Shutdown Unexpectedly Error

To solve the MySQL shutdown unexpectedly error, first keep in mind the following things:

  • You may need to take a backup of your data before proceeding. Make sure your data is recoverable.
  • Each MySQL Server installation is different, and as such, we cannot guarantee that the tips that we’re about to give you will work 100% of the time.

Already took a backup of your data and ready to deal with the error? Let’s go!

First, check your my.cnf file (or my.ini if you still run your MySQL Server under a Windows architecture.) Did you make any changes to that file recently? If so, revert them and try again; if not, check on the following:

  • The port that is set to be used by MySQL by checking the “port” variable.
  • The socket that your MySQL server is using. Is the variable within my.ini (or my.cnf if you’re using Linux) pointing to the right socket? If not, adjust accordingly.
  • Perhaps, you’ve recently played with the InnoDB or XtraDB storage engines and set the buffer pool size too high? Check on that. The recommended size of the InnoDB buffer pool is from 60% to 80% of the available memory in your system.
  • Maybe the basedir (base directory) your MySQL Server is pointing to is incorrect? It should be the directory that contains the “data” folder within your MySQL instance.
  • Double check the datadir variable too. Is it pointing to the “data” directory?

Checked your my.cnf? Restart MySQL. Are you still getting “error: mysql shutdown unexpectedly?” Check if the software you’re using doesn’t interfere with the ports that are required by MySQL – the default port used by MySQL Server is “3306.”

If you still get no positive results, check the firewall your application might be using – perhaps it’s using too stringent of a ruleset for MySQL to pass through?

Finally, if the following steps didn’t help, revert the last action you’ve taken before the problem appeared. The problem should now be solved!

And if that didn’t help, you’re not out of luck either. Follow our lead.

Cleaning InnoDB

If nothing we’ve discussed above helped, try the last straw – clean your InnoDB engine!

Warning: This step will remove all of the data within all of the tables running the InnoDB engine in your database instance, so please proceed cautiously.

First off, make sure your MySQL Server is offline.

  1. Take a backup of your data (or make sure you already have one.)
  2. Make sure that your my.cnf or my.ini file has the “innodb_file_per_table” variable set to 1 (this variable will be set to 1 on all of the most recent releases of MySQL Server.)
  3. Observe the path towards the data directory on your MySQL Server, then visit that directory and delete the ibdata1 and ib_logfile0, and ib_logfile1 files.)
  4. Now start MySQL again.

Did the steps above help? They did – they cleaned the entire MySQL Server running InnoDB because ibdata1 stores all of the data relevant to the InnoDB storage engine! The only downside is that your InnoDB-based tables no longer exist, but you can restore from a backup. Woohoo!

Make sure to visit our blog over at TheTable or visit the Database Dive YouTube channel that’s run by one of our database engineers to hear more of such things while seeing them and the damage they can do to your database from up close, and make sure to bookmark this blog and come back to it whenever you face this error again.


The MySQL shutdown unexpectedly error is one of the most frequent errors concerning both junior and senior MySQL Server engineers alike. In this blog, we’ve provided you with actionable advice to make this error disappear once and for all – in return, we ask you to try our SQL client free of charge for 21 days and see why some of the best engineering teams in the world prefer it as their #1 choice. You don’t have anything to lose!

We hope that this blog related to the MySQL shutdown unexpectedly error helped you figure out what causes the problem and how to solve it - if nothing helps, always consider cleaning your InnoDB-based tables as the last straw. Also, consider employing database SQL clients like the one provided by DbVisualizer if you’re embarking on your database journey, stay around TheTable or watch database-focused YouTube channels to learn more about the database world in general, and until next time.


Q: How to Fix the MySQL Shutdown Unexpectedly Error?

A: The  “Error: MySQL Shutdown Unexpectedly” can be fixed by freeing the port used by MySQL, checking your database configuration, or glancing into your firewall and making sure it’s not blocking database operations. If nothing works, clean the InnoDB storage engine.

Q: What else should I know concerning this SQL error?

A: While this error is a frequent guest in the MySQL world, it can be fixed very easily. If no approaches to this problems work, always have backups and you will be good to go no matter what.

Q: Why should I read blogs about database performance?

A: You never know when is the next time you will face problems concerning your database instance. Reading blogs, watching related YouTube channels, and staying informed on what’s happening in the database world is a perfect way to stay on top of your database no matter what happens.

Q: Why should I use a SQL client?

A: SQL clients like the one provided by DbVisualizer help you attain your database performance, availability, security, and capacity goals by letting you run SQL queries within a nice UI, letting you observe your tables like a spreadsheet, letting you explore your table structure from within, and provide you with free 21-day trials too. You don’t have anything to lose!

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About the author
Lukas Vileikis
Lukas Vileikis is an ethical hacker and a frequent conference speaker. He runs one of the biggest & fastest data breach search engines in the world -, frequently speaks at conferences and blogs in multiple places including his blog over at
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