Action to clear a relationship field to empty (deleting, not replacing the relationship)

Is it possible to create an action to remove a relationship, rather than to replace it with a different relationship? It looks like as soon as a relationship is created (say between an item and an item category), you can no longer clear the relationship property/field of the item to simply remove that relationship (so that it’s an item without a category, for instance) without replacing it with some other relationship with a record from the same property (e.g. another category).

To be clear, I’m not looking to create something like an “Uncategorized” category and replace the removed one with that as a solution, but just to clear the relationship field altogether, which I’ve not been able to figure out how to do. (I’d just use a hidden dropdown that’s set to empty, but dropdowns can’t be reliably set to stay empty since there seem to be some caching issues with them, which could result in some unexpected behaviour, so that seems like a solution to potentially avoid, and so I’ve run out of ideas.)

It’s probably very simple and I’m just a little turned around on it, so I could use some help finding what I’m doing wrong.

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Just to add a little extra, here’s what I’m seeing in the “update” action for the field in question:

Screen Shot 2021-07-05 at 8.51.36 AM

The default is “No change”, like any other, but there also seems to be no way to select something like “Empty” anywhere in order to remove existing connections. (Date fields are like this too, in that they also have no “Empty” option, but you can just type in a “0” to clear the date, which isn’t the case for relationships, so I’m not really sure what to do here.)


Hi @Mary,

Unfortunately, this is not possible at the moment :frowning:

A workaround might be to re-create the record (create new one with data from the existing one except relationship, and then delete old one), but this is not ideal and has its drawbacks.

Best regards, Victor.

Thanks Victor! That was quick!

I think I might try a hidden dropdown, then. Maybe the caching is a per-screen issue so that it might be the case, that since the dropdown will be hidden, tiny, and will never be seen by the user, they won’t be able to select something that will result in the dropdown having a value that gets cached from then on. Maybe that’ll work and step around the need to re-create the record. I’ll report back if it does!

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This didn’t work, unfortunately. If the dropdown menu remains on the empty option (“Select…”) it doesn’t displace the existing relationship.

I’ve gone the way of using your solution, @Victor, of recreating and then deleting the record. I do worry a little about this causing issues down the line, but it seems like the best workaround on offer.

(Not being able to use an action to remove existing relationships seems like a bit of an oversight, though. I suspect it’s cause of the mechanics for identifying which to remove when you don’t want to just clear them all, but it would be nice if just clearing them all were an option available to the update action.)

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