Disable Foreign Key Constraints for Replication

Applies to: yesSQL Server 2016 (13.x) and later YesAzure SQL Database YesAzure SQL Managed Instance yesAzure Synapse Analytics yesAnalytics Platform System (PDW)

You can disable foreign key constraints for replication in SQL Server by using SQL Server Management Studio or Transact-SQL. This can be useful if you are publishing data from a previous version of SQL Server.


If a table is published using replication, foreign key constraints are automatically disabled for operations performed by replication agents. When a replication agent performs an insert, update, or delete at a Subscriber, the constraint is not checked; if a user performs an insert, update, or delete, the constraint is checked. The constraint is disabled for the replication agent because the constraint was already checked at the Publisher when the data was originally inserted, updated, or deleted.

In This Topic

Before You Begin



Requires ALTER permission on the table.

Using SQL Server Management Studio

To disable a foreign key constraint for replication

  1. In Object Explorer, expand the table with the foreign key constraint you want to modify, and then expand the Keys folder.

  2. Right-click the foreign key constraint and then click Modify.

  3. In the Foreign Key Relationships dialog box, select a value of No for Enforce For Replication.

  4. Click Close.

Using Transact-SQL

To disable a foreign key constraint for replication

  1. To perform this task in Transact-SQL, drop the foreign key constraint. Then add a new foreign key constraint and specify the NOT FOR REPLICATION option.

For more information, see ALTER TABLE (Transact-SQL).