MySQL fix: Field ‘xxxx’ doesn’t have a default value

Posted by Andrew McCombe on Mon Jun 22, 2015

I’ve recently been working on a few of our older websites with newer MySQL installations and am coming across the following error:

SQLSTATE[HY000]: General error: 1364 Field 'delivery_address_id' doesn't have a default value

This is caused by MySQL having a strict mode set which won’t allow INSERT or UPDATE commands with empty fields where the schema doesn’t have a default value set.

There are a couple of fixes for this.

First ‘fix’ is to assign a default value to your schema. This can be done with a simple ALTER command:

ALTER TABLE `details` CHANGE COLUMN `delivery_address_id` `delivery_address_id` INT(11) NOT NULL DEFAULT 0 ;

However, this may need doing for many tables in your database schema which will become tedious very quickly. The second fix is to assign a default sql_mode on the mysql server.

If you are using a brew installed MySQL you should edit the my.cnf file in the MySQL directory at /usr/local/Cellar/mysql/<version>/my.cnf. Comment out or change the sql_mode at the bottom:

# For advice on how to change settings please see


# Remove leading # and set to the amount of RAM for the most important data
# cache in MySQL. Start at 70% of total RAM for dedicated server, else 10%.
# innodb_buffer_pool_size = 128M

# Remove leading # to turn on a very important data integrity option: logging
# changes to the binary log between backups.
# log_bin

# These are commonly set, remove the # and set as required.
# basedir = .....
# datadir = .....
# port = .....
# server_id = .....
# socket = .....

# Remove leading # to set options mainly useful for reporting servers.
# The server defaults are faster for transactions and fast SELECTs.
# Adjust sizes as needed, experiment to find the optimal values.
# join_buffer_size = 128M
# sort_buffer_size = 2M
# read_rnd_buffer_size = 2M


Save the file and restart Mysql:

launchctl unload -w ~/Library/LaunchAgents/homebrew.mxcl.mysql.plist
launchctl load -w ~/Library/LaunchAgents/homebrew.mxcl.mysql.plist    

NOTE: make sure you run the above as your usual user and not as root/sudo. I did this and MySQL refused to restart as I had caused it to break permissions somewhere.

Alternatively you can comment out the above line and add the sql_mode line to your system MySQL config at /etc/my.cnf:

sql_mode = ""

Hope this helps someone out there!