Convert to Delta Lake

The CONVERT TO DELTA SQL command performs a one-time conversion for Parquet and Iceberg tables to Delta Lake tables. For incremental conversion of Parquet or Iceberg tables to Delta Lake, see Incrementally clone Parquet and Iceberg tables to Delta Lake.

Unity Catalog supports the CONVERT TO DELTA SQL command for Parquet and Iceberg tables stored in external locations managed by Unity Catalog.

You can configure existing Parquet data files as external tables in Unity Catalog and then convert them to Delta Lake to unlock all features of the Databricks lakehouse.

For the technical documentation, see CONVERT TO DELTA.

Converting a directory of Parquet or Iceberg files in an external location to Delta Lake


  • Converting Iceberg tables is in Public Preview.

  • Converting Iceberg tables is supported in Databricks Runtime 10.4 and above.

  • Converting Iceberg metastore tables is not supported.

  • Converting Iceberg tables that have experienced partition evolution is not supported.

  • Converting Iceberg merge-on-read tables that have experienced updates, deletions, or merges is not supported.

  • The following are limitations for converting Iceberg tables with partitions defined on truncated columns:

    • In Databricks Runtime 12.2 LTS and below, the only truncated column type supported is string.

    • In Databricks Runtime 13.3 LTS and above, you can work with truncated columns of types string, long, or int.

    • Databricks does not support working with truncated columns of type decimal.

You can convert a directory of Parquet data files to a Delta Lake table as long as you have write access on the storage location; for information on configuring access with Unity Catalog, see Connect to cloud object storage using Unity Catalog.

CONVERT TO DELTA parquet.`s3://my-bucket/parquet-data`;

CONVERT TO DELTA iceberg.`s3://my-bucket/iceberg-data`;

To load converted tables as external tables to Unity Catalog, you need CREATE TABLES permissions on the external location.


For Databricks Runtime 11.3 LTS and above, CONVERT TO DELTA automatically infers partitioning information for tables registered to the metastore, eliminating the requirement to manually specify partitions.

Converting managed and external tables to Delta Lake on Unity Catalog

Unity Catalog supports many formats for external tables, but only supports Delta Lake for managed tables. To convert a managed Parquet table directly to a managed Unity Catalog Delta Lake table, see Upgrade a table to a Unity Catalog managed table.

To upgrade an external Parquet table to Unity Catalog, see Upgrade a single external table to Unity Catalog.

Once you’ve registered an external Parquet table to Unity Catalog, you can convert it to an external Delta Lake table. Note that you must provide partitioning information if the parquet table is partitioned.

CONVERT TO DELTA catalog_name.database_name.table_name;

CONVERT TO DELTA catalog_name.database_name.table_name PARTITIONED BY (date_updated DATE);