dbRemoveTable() returns TRUE, invisibly. If the table does not exist, an error is raised. An attempt to remove a view with this function may result in an error.

An error is raised when calling this method for a closed or invalid connection. An error is also raised if name cannot be processed with dbQuoteIdentifier() or if this results in a non-scalar.

Additional arguments

The following arguments are not part of the dbRemoveTable() generic (to improve compatibility across backends) but are part of the DBI specification:

  • temporary (default: FALSE)

  • fail_if_missing (default: TRUE)

These arguments must be provided as named arguments.

If temporary is TRUE, the call to dbRemoveTable() will consider only temporary tables. Not all backends support this argument. In particular, permanent tables of the same name are left untouched.

If fail_if_missing is FALSE, the call to dbRemoveTable() succeeds if the table does not exist.


A table removed by dbRemoveTable() doesn't appear in the list of tables returned by dbListTables(), and dbExistsTable() returns FALSE. The removal propagates immediately to other connections to the same database. This function can also be used to remove a temporary table.

The name argument is processed as follows, to support databases that allow non-syntactic names for their objects:

  • If an unquoted table name as string: dbRemoveTable() will do the quoting, perhaps by calling dbQuoteIdentifier(conn, x = name)

  • If the result of a call to dbQuoteIdentifier(): no more quoting is done