Top Ten MySQL GUI Tools

Many third parties create rich applications to facilitate database management, database development and database administration. Here are ten outstanding graphical user interface (GUI) tools for MySQL.

Why use a GUI tool?

Most relational databases, with the notable exception of MS Access, are comprised of two distinct components: the back-end, where the data is warehoused, and the front-end, a user interface for communicating with the data component. This type of design is quite clever, as it parallels the two-tier programming model that separates the data layer from the user interface and allows the makers of the database software focus on their product’s strongest suit: data storage and management. It also opens the door for third parties to create rich applications to interact with various databases. Such products include Embarcadero Rapid SQL and Oracle SQL Developer.

MySQL drives demand for solid tools

Since it was first introduced in 1995, MySQL has grown to be one of the most widely used databases in the world, consistently ranking as db-engine’s No. 2 most popular database. As a result, developer demand is high for database tools that are purpose-built for working with MySQL.

This article takes a look at 10 of the most useful graphical user interface (GUI) tools catered to MySQL and its users. These tools use a visual interface to help manage and maneuver relational databases effortlessly without relying on SQL commands 


Top MySQL GUI tools

1. MySQL Workbench

MySQL Workbench is a visual schema and query builder that is currently the only SQL client supported and developed by MySQL. It provides compatibility with all current features of MySQL. This open-source relational database software is offered in three editions: Standard, Community, and Enterprise.

Key Features:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Available on Windows, macOS, and Linux 
  • The ability to see server status and logs

Cost: Free

2. BeeKeeper Studio

BeeKeeper Studio is an open-source SQL editor that’s compatible with a variety of database types for relational querying, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite. BeeKeeper offers fast responsive interactivity with click navigation through tabs without switching through windows, essentially increasing work productivity.

Key Features:

  • Provides SQL query auto completion
  • Connects through firewalls and works offline
  • Available on Windows, macOS, and Linux

Cost: Free

3. dbForge Studio for MySQL

This universal GUI toolset supports only MySQL and MariaDB databases. dbForge Studio provides functionality for easily accessible database development and maintenance. And it allows customized queries and schema with syntax autocomplete and a flexible interface for users ranging from beginners to experts.

Key Features:

  • Generates, executes, and debugs queries
  • Create database backups 
  • Automate database management and analysis

4. HeidiSQL

HeidiSQL, built in 2002, is software used to modify data and structures for running database systems. This tool can connect to databases through an SSH (secure shell) tunnel for users without the default port.

Its features grant administrative privileges allowing convenient database management. However, HeidiSQL does not support macOS.

Key Features:

  • Compatible with Linux distributions
  • Syntax check and correction
  • Lightweight and portable

Cost: Free

5. Navicat for MySQL

Navicat for MySQL is a powerful graphical interface that synchronizes your connection settings, models, and queries to the Navicat Cloud for automatic saving and sharing at any given time. Just like HeidiSQL, Navicat for MySQL has the ability to connect to a MySQL database through an SSH tunnel. It also offers workable data migration by providing comprehensive data format support.

Key Features:

  • Data exportation via Excel, TXT, XML, JSON, and more.
  • Visual schema and query builders
  • Available on Windows, macOS, and Linux

Cost: up to $259

6. SQLyog

SQLyong is a visual data design and comparison tool that will help you manage your databases. From formatting SQL statements to quick data retrieval, SQLyog protects your data with encryption.

Three available editions are offered to authorize key features like scheduled backups and import external data. However, this tool isn’t supported for macOS or Linux platforms.

Key Features:

  • Data and Schema synchronization
  • Connect to MySQL through SSH tunnel
  • Multi-threaded query execution

Cost: Up to $299

7. DBeaver

DBeaver is a multi-platform tool that supports numerous databases. This GUI is cross-platform friendly, and it imports, exports, and backs up data swiftly. This database management helper offers a syntax editor with SQL corrector and autocomplete.

Key Features:

  • Data analytical charts
  • Mock Data Generator
  • Visual Query Builder

Cost: The Basic edition is free, and the Lite edition begins at $99.

8. phpMyAdmin

This web-based administration tool, developed in 1998, has become extremely popular because of its user-friendly interface and navigation. Written in PHP, the open-source software tool gives the ability to perform SQL statement execution directly from the user interface.

Key Features:

  • Tracks changes done on databases and tables
  • Interact with 80 languages
  • Ability to operate several servers at once

Cost: Free

9. Toad Edge for MySQL

Toad Edge for MySQL offers database schema synchronization, comparison, data import, and export features. It is also a powerful JSON  browser and editor with advanced functionality. Originally named for its use in Oracle database administration (Tool for Oracle Application Developers), this tool is now available for Windows and macOS X.

Key Features:

  • Database design with document management
  • 24-hour user support from experts
  • Session monitor and navigation

Cost: Free

10. Sequel Pro

Sequel Pro is a widely used tool for open-source relational database environments on remote and local servers. Native to only macOS X, Sequel Pro works with cloud providers while performing table creation, customer queries, and syntax highlighting.

Key Features:

  • Multi-database and cloud support
  • Ability to find schema and data within tables 
  • Session monitor and navigation

Cost: Prices start at $16 and increase to up to $220

Choosing a MySQL GUI Tool

There are various handy MySQL GUIs designed to facilitate your database development and management processes. When choosing a MySQL GUI tool, be sure to consider your company’s budget and needs as well as user reviews, and choose a solution that’s best for you.


Originally written by Rob Gravelle in 2010, this article was reviewed and updated in March 2022 by Kelsey Perkins.

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Kelsey Perkins
Kelsey Perkins
Kelsey Perkins is a contributing writer for A background in broadcast journalism led to software engineering bootcamp where she mastered JavaScript, React.js, MongoDB, and MySQL. She plans to link her two passions of telecommunications and programming as a full-stack developer for broadcast news.

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