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How to: Modify Primary Keys

Modify a primary key if you want to change the column order, index name, clustered option, or fill factor.


The dialog boxes and menu commands you see might differ from those described in Help depending on your active settings or edition. To change your settings, choose Import and Export Settings on the Tools menu. For more information, see Visual Studio Settings.

To modify a primary key

  1. Open the Table Designer for the table whose primary key you want to modify, right-click in the Table Designer, and choose Indexes/Keys from the shortcut menu.

  2. In the Indexes/Keys dialog box, select the primary key index from the Selected Primary/Unique Key or Index list.

  3. Complete an action from the following table:


    Some databases have different functionality for primary key constraints. Consult your database documentation for details about how your database works with primary key constraints.


    Follow these steps

    Rename the primary key

    Type a new name in the Name box. Make sure that your new name does not duplicate a name in the Selected Primary/Unique Key or Index list.

    Set the clustered option

    Select Create as CLUSTERED, and select the option from the drop-down list box. Only one clustered index can exist per table. If this option is not available for your index, you must first clear this setting on the existing clustered index.

    Define a fill factor

    Expand the Fill Specification category and type an integer from 0 to 100 in the Fill factor box. For more information about fill factors and their uses, see the Microsoft SQL Server documentation.

    Change the column order

    Select Columns, and then click the ellipses (…) to the right of the property. In the Index Columns dialog box, remove the columns from the primary key. Then add the columns back in the order you want. To remove a column from the key, simply remove the column name from the Column name list.

The primary key is updated in the database when you save your table.

See Also


How to: Delete Primary Keys

How to: Change Relationship Properties


Primary Keys (Visual Database Tools)


Primary or Unique Key Properties

Other Resources

Working with Constraints

Working with Constraints