SQLite Show Tables

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SQLite Show Tables

Summary: in this tutorial, you will learn various ways to show tables from an SQLite database by using the SQLite command-line shell program or by querying data from sqlite_master tables.

Showing tables using the sqlite command line shell program

To show tables in a database using the sqlite command-line shell program, you follow these steps:

First, open the database that you want to show the tables:

sqlite3 c:\sqlite\db\chinook.db


The above statement opened the database named  chinook.db that locates in the c:\sqlite\db directory.

Second, type the .tables command:



The .tables command lists all tables in the chinook database

albums employees invoices playlists
artists genres media_types tracks
customers invoice_items playlist_track


Note that both .tables, .table have the same effect. In addition, the command .ta should work too.

The .tables command also can be used to show temporary tables. See the following example:

First, create a new temporary table named temp_table1:

CREATE TEMPORARY TABLE temp_table1( name TEXT );


Second, list all tables from the database:



The following shows the output:

albums employees invoices playlists
artists genres media_types temp.temp_table1
customers invoice_items playlist_track tracks


Because the schema of temporary tables is temp, the command showed the names of schema and table of the temporary table such as temp.temp_table1.

If you want to show tables with the specific name, you can add a matching pattern:

.tables pattern


The command works the same as LIKE operator. The pattern must be surrounded by single quotation marks ( ').

For example, to find tables whose names start with the letter ‘a’, you use the following command:

.table 'a%'


Here is the output:

albums artists

Code language: plaintext (plaintext)

To shows the tables whose name contains the string ck, you use the %ck% pattern as shown in the following command:

.tables '%ck%'


The output is as follows:

playlist_track tracks


Showing tables using SQL statement

Another way to list all tables in a database is to query them from the sqlite_schema table.

type ='table' AND
name NOT LIKE 'sqlite_%';


Here is the output:

In this query, we filtered out all tables whose names start with sqlite_ such as  sqlite_stat1 and sqlite_sequence tables. These tables are the system tables managed internally by SQLite.

Note that SQLite changed the table sqlite_master to sqlite_schema.

In this tutorial, you have learned how to show all tables in a database using the .tables command or by querying data from the sqlite_schema table.

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