Neo4j - Delete a Relationship using Cypher

You can delete relationships in the same way as deleting nodes — by matching the relationship/s you want to delete.

You can delete one or many relationships in one go. You can even delete all relationships in the database.

First, as a memory refresher, here are the relationships that we created earlier:

Screenshot of relationships that we created earlier.

Let's delete the relationship of type RELEASED.

There are several ways we could go about this. Let's look at three.

The following statement is quite broad — it will delete all relationships of type RELEASED:

You could also be more specific and write something like this:

The above statement will match all Artist nodes that have a relationship type of RELEASED with an Album node.

You could be even more specific and do something like this:

Any of those statements will result in the RELEASED relationship being deleted. The graph will look like this:

Screenshot of the nodes with one of the relationships removed.

Deleting Nodes with Relationships Attached

Nodes can't be deleted if they still have relationships attached to them.

If we try to run the following statement:

We will get the following error:

Screenshot of error message from trying to delete a node with relationships.

This is because that node has a relationship connected.

One option is to delete all relationships, then delete the node.

Another option is to use the DETACH DELETE clause. The DETACH DELETE clause lets you delete a node and all relationships connected to it.

So we can change the above statment to this:

Running that statement will result in the following success message:

Screenshot of message confirming that nodes and relationships were deleted.

Delete the Whole Database

You can take the DETACH DELETE a step further and delete the whole database.

Simply remove any filtering criteria and it will delete all nodes and all relationships.

Go ahead and execute the following statement:

We no longer have any data in the database... so I guess that's the end of the tutorial :)

If you're interested in learning more about working with Neo4j, check out the official Neo4j documentation.