DROP RULE (Transact-SQL)

THIS TOPIC APPLIES TO:yesSQL Server (starting with 2008)noAzure SQL DatabasenoAzure SQL Data Warehouse noParallel Data Warehouse

Removes one or more user-defined rules from the current database.


DROP RULE will be removed in the next version of Microsoft SQL Server. Do not use DROP RULE in new development work, and plan to modify applications that currently use them. Instead, use CHECK constraints that you can create by using the CHECK keyword of CREATE TABLE or ALTER TABLE. For more information, see Unique Constraints and Check Constraints.

Topic link icon Transact-SQL Syntax Conventions


DROP RULE [ IF EXISTS ] { [ schema_name . ] rule_name } [ ,...n ] [ ; ]  


|Applies to: SQL Server ( SQL Server 2016 through current version).|

Conditionally drops the rule only if it already exists.

Is the name of the schema to which the rule belongs.

Is the rule to be removed. Rule names must comply with the rules for identifiers. Specifying the rule schema name is optional.


To drop a rule, first unbind it if the rule is currently bound to a column or to an alias data type. To unbind the rule, use sp_unbindrule. If the rule is bound when you try to drop it, an error message is displayed and the DROP RULE statement is canceled.

After a rule is dropped, new data entered into the columns previously governed by the rule is entered without the constraints of the rule. Existing data is not affected in any way.

The DROP RULE statement does not apply to CHECK constraints. For more information about dropping CHECK constraints, see ALTER TABLE (Transact-SQL).


To execute DROP RULE, at a minimum, a user must have ALTER permission on the schema to which the rule belongs.


The following example unbinds and then drops the rule named VendorID_rule. (Beginning with SQL Server 2016 you can use the DROP RULE IF EXISTS syntax.)

USE AdventureWorks2012;  
IF EXISTS (SELECT name FROM sysobjects  
         WHERE name = 'VendorID_rule'  
            AND type = 'R')  
      EXEC sp_unbindrule 'Production.ProductVendor.VendorID'  
      DROP RULE VendorID_rule  

See Also

sp_bindrule (Transact-SQL)
sp_help (Transact-SQL)
sp_helptext (Transact-SQL)
sp_unbindrule (Transact-SQL)
USE (Transact-SQL)