How does one check if a table exists in an Android SQLite database?


I have an android app that needs to check if there's already a record in the database, and if not, process some things and eventually insert it, and simply read the data from the database if the data does exist. I'm using a subclass of SQLiteOpenHelper to create and get a rewritable instance of SQLiteDatabase, which I thought automatically took care of creating the table if it didn't already exist (since the code to do that is in the onCreate(...) method).

However, when the table does NOT yet exist, and the first method ran upon the SQLiteDatabase object I have is a call to query(...), my logcat shows an error of "I/Database(26434): sqlite returned: error code = 1, msg = no such table: appdata", and sure enough, the appdata table isn't being created.

Any ideas on why?

I'm looking for either a method to test if the table exists (because if it doesn't, the data's certainly not in it, and I don't need to read it until I write to it, which seems to create the table properly), or a way to make sure that it gets created, and is just empty, in time for that first call to query(...)

This was posted after the two answers below:
I think I may have found the problem. I for some reason decided that a different SQLiteOpenHelper was supposed to be created for each table, even though both access the same database file. I think refactoring that code to only use one OpenHelper, and creating both tables inside it's onCreate may work better...

3/28/2017 9:55:13 PM

Accepted Answer

Yep, turns out the theory in my edit was right: the problem that was causing the onCreate method not to run, was the fact that SQLiteOpenHelper objects should refer to databases, and not have a separate one for each table. Packing both tables into one SQLiteOpenHelper solved the problem.

6/17/2010 6:11:09 PM

Try this one:

public boolean isTableExists(String tableName, boolean openDb) {
    if(openDb) {
        if(mDatabase == null || !mDatabase.isOpen()) {
            mDatabase = getReadableDatabase();

        if(!mDatabase.isReadOnly()) {
            mDatabase = getReadableDatabase();

    Cursor cursor = mDatabase.rawQuery("select DISTINCT tbl_name from sqlite_master where tbl_name = '"+tableName+"'", null);
    if(cursor!=null) {
        if(cursor.getCount()>0) {
            return true;
    return false;

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