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1217 cannot delete or update a parent row a foreign key constraint fails

You’re trying to delete a table and it returns the error 1217 cannot delete or update a parent row a foreign key constraint fails. Here is a solution.

Why you’re having this error:

The error code is self-explaining, SQL cannot make modifications to the parent table or the table that depends on the table you’re trying to delete. In other words, there are records from another table or tables that has foreign key constraints to the table you are trying to delete and you are using the InnoDB database engine.

In the solution provided here, I begin by turning off foreign key checks by setting it to 0, then proceed to delete the table and lastly turn foreign_key_checks back on by setting it to 1; That is a quick way to solve it but not the recommended way to solve it.

The solution to 1217 cannot delete or update a parent row


As earlier stated, there is a better way to handle this error other than turning off foreign_key_checks. A better solution is to manually delete all records on the other table that references a record on the table you’re trying to delete.

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