Today I will explain how I was able to fix the Unknown collation error when importing a MySQL database.

I was moving a completed WordPress site this weekend from my hosting account to a client’s hosting account and was surprised to receive an error upon importing the database into the new empty database.

The error was:

Unknown collation: ‘utf8mb4_unicode_520_ci’

Upon Googling it, I discovered that this is a typical error when importing a database from a newer version of MySQL to an older version of MySQL.

The solution was pretty simple. Export the database in a format that is compatible to both, which turned out to be MYSQL40.  I also chose that format when importing the database. Worked fine and I was back on track again.