How to Use Temp Tables in SQL

How to Use Temp Tables in SQL

Temp tables, short for temporary tables, are a powerful tool in SQL that can help you organize and manipulate data more effectively. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create, use, and manage temp tables in SQL.

Creating a Temp Table

The first step to using a temp table is to create one. The syntax for creating a temp table varies slightly depending on which SQL system you’re using, but the basic structure is the same:

  column1 datatype1,
  column2 datatype2,
  column3 datatype3,

Here’s an example of creating a simple temp table with two columns:

  sale_date DATE,
  sale_amount DECIMAL(10,2)

Inserting Data into a Temp Table

Once you’ve created a temp table, you can insert data into it using the INSERT INTO statement:

INSERT INTO temp_sales (sale_date, sale_amount)
VALUES ('2022-10-01', 100.00),
       ('2022-10-02', 200.00),
       ('2022-10-03', 300.00);

Querying a Temp Table

With data in your temp table, you can now query it just like you would any other table in SQL:

FROM temp_sales
WHERE sale_date >= '2022-10-02';

This will return all rows in the temp_sales table where the sale_date is greater than or equal to October 2nd, 2022.

Dropping a Temp Table

When you’re done working with a temp table, you can drop it to free up resources. The syntax for dropping a temp table is similar to dropping a regular table:


Combining Temp Tables with Other SQL Statements

Temp tables can be combined with other SQL statements to create more complex queries. For example, you can use a temp table to simplify a query that involves multiple joins:

  product_id INT,
  product_name VARCHAR(255)

INSERT INTO temp_products (product_id, product_name)
  SELECT product_id, product_name
  FROM products
  WHERE product_category = 'Clothing';

FROM temp_sales
JOIN temp_products ON temp_sales.product_id = temp_products.product_id;

This query creates a temp table called temp_products with all the products in the Clothing category, then joins that table with the temp_sales table to get sales data for those products.

Troubleshooting Tips

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when working with temp tables:

  • Temp tables are only visible within the session that created them. If you create a temp table in one session and then open a new session, you won’t be able to see the table.
  • Be careful not to use temp table names that clash with existing table names in your database. This can cause unexpected behavior and errors.
  • Remember to drop your temp tables when you’re done with them to free up resources.


Temp tables are a powerful tool in SQL that can help you organize and manipulate data more effectively. With the knowledge you’ve gained in this tutorial, you’ll be able to create, use, and manage temp tables with ease.