MySQL Limit Query - How to Limit Query Results

Sometimes it is useful to limit the number of rows that are returned from an SQL query. For example, if a user knows exactly which rows of a table they are interested in, they can specify which of those rows to return via the MySQL limit syntax. This can be especially useful when querying very large tables.

The MySQL limit syntax can either return the first so many rows from a database table, or it can also return a range of rows from the database table. Listed below are some examples.

Example 1: Returning the first 100 rows from a table called employee:

SELECT * FROM employee LIMIT 100

Example 2: Returning a range of rows from a table called employee (starting 2 rows past the first record, return the next 4 rows). In this example, 2 is the OFFSET, and 4 is the number of rows to return:

SELECT * FROM employee LIMIT 2,4

The above query can also be written in the following way using the LIMIT / OFFSET syntax for better readability:


Example 3: Returning the first 100 rows from a table named employee using an ORDER BY clause:

SELECT * FROM employee ORDER BY id LIMIT 100

Many other databases also support limiting rows returned from queries. Listed below are links that show how to limit rows for other popular databases: