ItecSoftware Logo

Best MySQL GUI clients

Written by Peter Gilg on - like this:
mysql gui clients

The best MySQL GUI client is the one that does all or most of the tasks much easier and faster than by any other method. But the selection of tasks varies from person to person, whether one is an administrator, a developer or both.

In this article we’re going to look at the optimal mix for both types of usage and highlight ones that are more suitable for MySQL administration and database development.

The best MySQL GUI clients in ranking order


The best of breed in my opinion is Navicat. They used to have a free version, but apparently not anymore. The premium version enables management of MySQL, Oracle, Postgres, SQLite and SQL Server. Starting with connections, Navicat allows for certificate based, SSH tunnels and direct TCP connections. A big plus if you’re managing databases in the cloud.Navicat offers a clear and intuitive GUI for designing db objects such as tables, views, stored procedures etc., incl. user management and permission assignments. Running queries is a breeze, and they can be saved or exported as a sql script.

For the admin oriented user, Navicat supports analyze, check, repair and optimize. It also allows for SQL dump directly to your desktop, and sports solid import and export tools. If the database is not too big, I find this feature a real timesaver.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for an all around tool, Navicat is the one. Runs on Mac, Windows and Linux.

MySQL Workbench

The best free MySQL GUI client is MySQL Workbench. When it was introduces some 5 years ago, it used to be buggy and would crash on a pretty steady pace. Now days, Workbench has grown into a solid tool for creating and managing databases.

It’s design tools and schema inspector are top notch, even better than Navicat. The visual database design tool gives the developer a clear view of the schema, and modifications are reflected back into the SQL scripts. The editor window is now much cleaner and more intuitive than previous versions. Hopefully, the admin section will get the same clean up in the future.

Bottom line: MySQL Workbench is the best free GUI client, although it’s more geared towards developers than administrators. Native clients for Mac, Windows and Linux


phpMyAdmin has long been the darling of web developers, as it’s open source and packaged as part of many lamp/mamp packages. Is a hosted tool, meaning you will have to set it up on a webserver and use it’s web interface to manage databases, but therefore runs on any platform.

It is easy to give as many developers access as you’d like, and if the web interface is hosted publicly anyone can login and start hacking away (in a good and bad sense). phpMyAdmin has had a consistent UI over the years, and although it’s not the most intuitive, it’s quite powerful and let’s you do pretty much anything to any database where php has access to.

Bottom line: Open source, web based management tool best suited for developers.

Worthy Mentions

Other MySQL GUI clients & tools worth mentioning are:

Listed in MySQL, Web Development

Tags: client, database, GUI, MySQL, navicat

5 responses to “Best MySQL GUI clients”

  1. Mark Flinch says:

    I think SQLyog- should have been listed in Top 5 it deserve for ease of use, feature rich and reliable tool for MySQL management.

  2. Sarah King says:

    Another vote for sqlyog – so good I recently bought a 5 year license as a vote of support. All in all I’ve probably paid for about 2 years of use out of 5 because the old versions just keep on trucking.

    I’m now using a mac and need a tool for that – and which allows tunnelling! Querios and workbench don’t.

  3. Chris Coddington says:

    Add Toad for MySQL to the list.

  4. Mike says:

    I think every have it’s own taste in everything. As for me I am definitely rising my hand for dbForge Studio for MySQL (mentioned in the end of article).
    This is one of the best tool for MySQL management and development for Windows.
    It has only one minus – no version for Linux. I hope Devart will fix it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *