I am trying to delete a principal from the database but can't because it owns a schema. When I go to edit the user, however, the box to uncheck schemae is blue and unremovable. How can I remove the principal from these schemas?


Try the T-SQL to do this:

alter authorization
on schema::YourSchemaName
to dbo

drop user TheUserYouWantToDelete

You can't drop a principal that is a schema owner, so the ALTER AUTHORZATION changes the owned schema (I used YourSchemaName, but obviously substitute that with the owned schema in your database) to dbo (likewise, you can change ownership to whatever principal you need in your environment). That will allow you to drop the previously-schema-owning user (for example purposes I used TheUserYouWantToDelete, but that'll be the now non-owner that you want to drop).

  • Okay, so this worked. I'm a little confused as to why, however. Why do I need to authorize the schema to another schema? Maybe I need to review schemas... – rsteckly Jun 18 '12 at 18:10
  • 1
    @rsteckly Simplified, authorization = ownership. If you could delete the user that owns the schema, the schema wouldn't be valid, because the owner no longer exists. Imagine you could delete a customer who has placed an order. What does the CustomerID in the Orders table mean if there is no longer a Customer that it points to? Where should I ship the order? – Aaron Bertrand Jun 18 '12 at 18:20
  • Sorry, my example wasn't well explained. We're not changing authorization to the dbo schema, we're changing authorization to the dbo principal. That could have been any database principal. – Thomas Stringer Jun 18 '12 at 18:32

The T-SQL way works. Thanks to http://zarez.net/?p=179 I found the SSMS way to do this (UI).

To change the schema owner from Sql Server Management Studio:

Expand your database -> Security -> Schemas

In the Object Explorer Details you can see a list of the schemas and the owners:

enter image description here

If you don't know what schema(s) the User owns, check the properties of the User.

enter image description here

Open up the properties of the schema that the User owns, and click "Search" to find a new owner. If you don't know the new owner, you can "Browse" for one.

Properites -> Search -> Browse

and you can change the schema owner to dbo (or whoever is most appropriate).

enter image description here

  • 1
    T-SQL way is much better and flexible. Doing it through GUI has (is) always a pain ! – Kin Shah May 5 '15 at 17:05
  • I'm all for the T-SQL way, also because it can be used in scripts. – woodvi Oct 8 '15 at 18:01
  • 2
    Note: F7 is the shortcut to display details if it isn't coming up – Simon_Weaver Mar 24 '17 at 22:21

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