Fix MySQL`s Lock Wait Timeout Exceeded Error with These Easy Code Examples

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding the Lock Wait Timeout Exceeded Error
  3. Common Causes of the Error
  4. How to Fix the Error
  5. Method 1: Increase the Lock Wait Timeout Setting
  6. Method 2: Optimize Your MySQL Queries
  7. Method 3: Split Large Transactions
  8. Method 4: Use a Different Storage Engine
  9. Example Code for Fixing the Error
  10. Conclusion
  11. References


If you've ever encountered MySQL's "lock wait timeout exceeded error," you know how frustrating it can be. This error occurs when a MySQL transaction has exceeded its allowed lock wait time, causing the server to abort the transaction. It's a common issue for developers working with MySQL databases, but thankfully, there are some easy code examples you can use to fix it.

In this article, we'll provide some helpful tips on how to avoid this error and provide sample code examples to fix it. We'll start with a quick overview of what causes the lock wait timeout exceeded error and then move on to some practical solutions. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced developer, the information in this article will help you handle this error with ease. So let's dive in and get started!

Understanding the Lock Wait Timeout Exceeded Error

When using MySQL in Python programming, you may encounter the "Lock Wait Timeout Exceeded Error". This error occurs when a transaction has locked a row or table, and another transaction is trying to access it. If the second transaction waits too long for the lock to be released, this error will be thrown.

To understand this error further, it's important to know about transactions and locks. A transaction is a set of SQL statements that are executed as a single unit. A lock is a mechanism used to prevent conflicts between transactions that are accessing the same resources.

In MySQL, there are several types of locks, including shared and exclusive locks. Shared locks allow multiple transactions to read the same resource, while exclusive locks only allow one transaction to modify it.

When a transaction requests a lock, it will wait until the lock is released before proceeding. However, if the lock isn't released within a certain amount of time, this error will be thrown.

To fix this error, you can either increase the lock wait timeout setting in MySQL, or optimize your queries to reduce lock contention. You can also use code examples to handle this error, such as retrying the transaction after a certain period of time.

Overall, is crucial for efficient and effective use of MySQL in Python programming. By implementing the right strategies and techniques, you can avoid this error and ensure optimal performance for your applications.

Common Causes of the Error

When working with MySQL, it's common to encounter the "Lock wait timeout exceeded" error. This error occurs when a session tries to access a table or row that is locked by another session for a long time. Here are some common causes of this error:

1. Long-running transactions

If you have a long-running transaction, it can hold a lock on a table or row for an extended period. This can cause other sessions to wait for the lock to be released and eventually trigger the "lock wait timeout exceeded" error.

2. Concurrent access to the same data

If multiple sessions try to access the same data concurrently, they can lock each other out and cause the error. This is especially likely to happen in high-traffic applications where many users are accessing the same dataset.

3. Deadlocks

A deadlock occurs when two or more sessions are waiting for resources held by each other, resulting in a circular waiting scenario. This can cause the system to come to a standstill, with sessions waiting indefinitely for each other to release the resource they need.

It's important to understand the common causes of the "Lock wait timeout exceeded" error so you can identify and fix the problem quickly. By addressing the underlying issue, you can ensure that your MySQL database runs smoothly and efficiently.

How to Fix the Error

When encountering the "Lock Wait Timeout Exceeded Error" in MySQL, there are a few ways to fix it. Here are some easy code examples that can help you tackle this issue:

  1. Increase the timeout value: Add the following command to your MySQL command line: SET innodb_lock_wait_timeout = 1000; This will increase the timeout value to 1000 seconds, giving more time for the lock to be released.

  2. Optimize your queries: This error sometimes occurs when queries take too long to execute or lock too many resources. Optimizing your queries can help you reduce the chances of encountering this error.

  3. Reduce lock contention: Use row-level locking instead of table-level locking to reduce contention. Use the SELECT ... FOR UPDATE statement to lock only the rows that you need to modify.

  4. Avoid long transactions: Breaking up long transactions into smaller ones can help you avoid this error. Long transactions can lead to excessive locking and increased contention.

  5. Increase resources: Consider increasing the resources available to your database. This can help reduce contention and improve performance.

By implementing these strategies, you can effectively resolve the "Lock Wait Timeout Exceeded Error" and prevent it from occurring in the future.

Method 1: Increase the Lock Wait Timeout Setting

To fix MySQL's Lock Wait Timeout Exceeded error, there are several methods that you can try. One of the easiest methods is to increase the Lock Wait Timeout Setting. This timeout setting determines the number of seconds that the database will wait for a lock before timing out.

To increase the Lock Wait Timeout Setting, you will need to modify the MySQL configuration file. The default name for this file is my.cnf, but it can vary depending on your setup. Locate the configuration file and open it in a text editor.

Find the section of the file that contains the following line:


The number after "innodb_lock_wait_timeout" represents the current timeout setting. Increase this value to a higher number, such as 120 or 180, depending on your needs.

Save the changes to the configuration file and restart the MySQL service for the changes to take effect.

By increasing the Lock Wait Timeout Setting, you are giving MySQL more time to resolve any locking conflicts. However, be mindful of setting the value too high, as it can lead to longer wait times and slow down the performance of your database. Test your application thoroughly to ensure that the new timeout value is appropriate.

Method 2: Optimize Your MySQL Queries

One way to fix MySQL's Lock Wait Timeout Exceeded error is to optimize your MySQL queries. This involves making changes to your code to ensure that queries are executed as efficiently as possible, reducing the amount of time they take to complete.

There are several ways to optimize your MySQL queries. One approach is to avoid using subqueries, which can be slow and inefficient. Instead, try to use joins where possible to combine data from multiple tables in a single query.

Another way to optimize your queries is to use indexing to speed up database searches. By adding indexes to the columns you frequently search on, you can dramatically improve query performance, especially on large datasets.

You can also optimize your queries by grouping and filtering data as much as possible before querying the database. This can be done by using the GROUP BY and HAVING clauses, which allow you to group data by specific criteria and filter out undesired results before retrieving the data from the database.

Overall, optimizing your MySQL queries can be an effective way to fix the Lock Wait Timeout Exceeded error, as well as improving the overall performance of your database. By taking the time to optimize your queries, you can ensure that your code runs efficiently and effectively, delivering the results you need in a timely and accurate manner.

Method 3: Split Large Transactions

Another way to avoid the Lock wait timeout exceeded error is to split up large transactions into smaller ones. This will help to reduce the amount of time each transaction needs to lock the table, and thus reduce the chances of a lock wait timeout error occurring.

To split up large transactions, you can use Python's commit() and rollback() methods. Instead of committing the entire transaction at once, you can commit smaller parts of it at a time. If an error occurs during a smaller transaction, you can roll back just that transaction and continue with the rest of the larger transaction.

Here is an example of how to split up a large transaction into smaller ones:

    conn = mysql.connector.connect(user='user', password='password', database='database')
    cursor = conn.cursor()

    # Start the transaction
    cursor.execute("START TRANSACTION")

    # Commit the first part of the transaction
    cursor.execute("UPDATE table1 SET column1 = 'value1' WHERE id = 1")

    # Commit the second part of the transaction
    cursor.execute("UPDATE table2 SET column2 = 'value2' WHERE id = 2")

    # Commit the rest of the transaction
    cursor.execute("UPDATE table3 SET column3 = 'value3' WHERE id = 3")

except mysql.connector.Error as error :
    # Rollback if an error occurs
    print("Error occurred: ", error)

    # Close the connection

In this example, the START TRANSACTION statement initiates the transaction, and each UPDATE statement is committed separately. If an error occurs, only the portion of the transaction that caused the error is rolled back, while the rest of the transaction can continue.

By splitting up large transactions in this way, you can reduce the risk of the Lock wait timeout exceeded error occurring, and ensure that your database remains consistent and efficient.

Method 4: Use a Different Storage Engine

If changing the lock wait timeout value does not solve the issue, then you can consider using a different storage engine.

The storage engine is responsible for organizing data in tables and handling table-level locking. MySQL supports multiple storage engines, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

For example, the InnoDB storage engine provides row-level locking, while the MyISAM storage engine provides table-level locking. So, if you are frequently dealing with concurrent updates to the same row, InnoDB might be a better choice.

To switch to a different storage engine, you can use the ALTER TABLE statement with the ENGINE parameter. For example:


Keep in mind that changing the storage engine can have implications for your application performance and behavior, so it's important to thoroughly test any changes before implementing them in a production environment.

In summary, if you are still experiencing lock wait timeout errors after adjusting the timeout value, consider switching to a different storage engine that better suits your application's needs.

Example Code for Fixing the Error

One way to fix MySQL's Lock Wait Timeout Exceeded Error is to adjust the innodb_lock_wait_timeout value in the MySQL configuration. The default value for this setting is 50 seconds, which may not be enough for some applications. To increase the value, add the following line to your my.ini or my.cnf file:

innodb_lock_wait_timeout = 300

This sets the timeout to 300 seconds (5 minutes). You can adjust the value to suit your needs, but be aware that setting it too high can cause other issues, such as increased server load.

Another way to fix the error is to optimize your queries and indexes to reduce the amount of time they take to complete. This can be done by analyzing slow queries and identifying areas for improvement. You can use the EXPLAIN command to analyze a query's execution plan and identify any potential bottlenecks.

In addition, you can use the SET SESSION statement to adjust the transaction isolation level for a session. For example, you can set it to READ UNCOMMITTED to allow dirty reads, or READ COMMITTED to prevent them. This can help reduce locking and improve performance.


Overall, there are several ways to fix MySQL's Lock Wait Timeout Exceeded Error. By adjusting configuration settings, optimizing queries and indexes, and setting transaction isolation levels, you can improve performance and avoid this error in your applications.



In , the Lock Wait Timeout Exceeded error in MySQL can be easily fixed by adjusting the timeout settings or optimizing the queries that are causing the locks. By following the code examples and tips provided in this article, developers can ensure that their MySQL database runs smoothly and efficiently without any interruption due to this error.

It is important to note that while increasing the timeout value may solve the issue temporarily, it is not a long-term solution. Addressing the root cause of the locks and optimizing queries is necessary to ensure long-term stability and efficiency of the database system.

By taking the time to understand and implement the best practices for preventing and resolving Lock Wait Timeout Exceeded errors, developers can avoid potential downtime and ensure that their applications continue to perform optimally.


If you want to learn more about MySQL's lock wait timeout error or how to fix it, here are some helpful resources to get you started:

  • MySQL Documentation: This official documentation provides an overview of MySQL's lock wait timeout error and offers some tips on how to tune the timeout period.
  • How To Fix MySQL's Lock Wait Timeout Exceeded Error: This blog post offers some practical solutions to fix MySQL's lock wait timeout error, including increasing the timeout period, optimizing queries, and adjusting the transaction isolation level.
  • MySQL Lock Wait Timeout Exceeded Error: This article explains why MySQL's lock wait timeout error occurs and what you can do to prevent or fix it, including adjusting configuration settings, optimizing queries, and reducing contention.
  • Fixing MySQL Deadlocks: This tutorial provides an in-depth explanation of MySQL's locking mechanism and how to diagnose and fix MySQL deadlock errors, which are related to the lock wait timeout error.
  • MySQL Locking: The Ultimate Guide: This comprehensive guide explains how MySQL's locking mechanism works, the different types of locks, and how to optimize your queries to minimize contention and avoid deadlocks.
Throughout my career, I have held positions ranging from Associate Software Engineer to Principal Engineer and have excelled in high-pressure environments. My passion and enthusiasm for my work drive me to get things done efficiently and effectively. I have a balanced mindset towards software development and testing, with a focus on design and underlying technologies. My experience in software development spans all aspects, including requirements gathering, design, coding, testing, and infrastructure. I specialize in developing distributed systems, web services, high-volume web applications, and ensuring scalability and availability using Amazon Web Services (EC2, ELBs, autoscaling, SimpleDB, SNS, SQS). Currently, I am focused on honing my skills in algorithms, data structures, and fast prototyping to develop and implement proof of concepts. Additionally, I possess good knowledge of analytics and have experience in implementing SiteCatalyst. As an open-source contributor, I am dedicated to contributing to the community and staying up-to-date with the latest technologies and industry trends.
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