Recently, while working on a project, I encountered an error stating: "Unable to track an instance of type 'Country' because it does not have a primary key. Only entity types with primary keys may be tracked." This error occurs when attempting to add a new record to the 'Country' table.

Based on our experience, we've encountered situations where an EF entity must have a primary key to operate, even if that key may or may not exist in the corresponding table.

To address this issue, we've employed a workaround by defining a unique key using a combination of columns and specifying it in the model. This approach has proven effective in similar situations we've encountered in the past.

If the corresponding table does not have a primary key, we add the [Key] attribute to the property or properties that serve as the logical primary key for the entity. This helps EF identify a unique identifier for each entity instance, enabling proper operation.

While adding the [Key] attribute to properties may be considered a workaround, it provides a practical solution for scenarios where a primary key is required but not explicitly defined in the database schema.


Encountering the error "Unable to track an instance of type 'Customer' because it does not have a primary key" typically indicates that Entity Framework is unable to track instances of an entity due to the absence of a primary key.

This error occurs when initializing a DbSet without specifying a primary key for the corresponding entity. To resolve this issue, we need to ensure that the entity has a primary key defined.

Here's how we can address this problem:

  1. Define a Primary Key: Ensure that the Customer class defines a primary key property or properties using either the [Key] attribute or fluent API configuration.
  2. Specify the Primary Key in DbSet Initialization: When initializing a DbSet for the entity in the DbContext class, ensure that the primary key is specified.

Here's an example of how we might define a primary key for the 'MyEntity' class:

public class Customer
    public int Id { get; set; }

In the DbContext class:

public class AppDbContext : DbContext
    public Customer Customers{ get; set; }

By ensuring that the entity has a primary key defined and specifying it in the DbSet initialization, we can resolve the "Unable to track an instance of type 'MyEntity'" error and enable Entity Framework to track instances of the entity properly.


To resolve this issue, we need to ensure that the entity instance is properly configured and attached to the DbContext for tracking. Here's how we can address this:

  1. Ensure Correct Entity Configuration: Verify that the entity configuration is correctly set up in the DbContext class, including mappings for primary keys and relationships.
  2. Use Correct Primary Keys: Make sure that the primary keys of the entity match those defined in the database schema. Mismatched primary keys can lead to issues with entity tracking.
  3. Check EntityState: Before attaching an entity to the DbContext, check its EntityState to ensure it's not already being tracked or in a detached state. Use methods like Find or Update to retrieve or update entities already being tracked.
  4. Use Attach or Update: If the entity is in a detached state, use the Attach or Update method of the DbContext to explicitly attach it for tracking or update its state.

Here's an example:

// Assuming 'entity' is the instance we want to attach or update
if (dbContext.Entry(entity).State == EntityState.Detached) {
    dbContext.Attach(entity); // or dbContext.Update(entity);

By following these steps and ensuring proper entity configuration and attachment, we can effectively resolve the "Unable to track an instance of type" error in .NET Core Entity Framework.


After upgrading to Asp.Net Core, we encountered an error with our Identity class when attempting to create a user in our application. The error message stated: "Unable to track an entity of type 'User' because the primary key property 'Id' is null."

To address this issue, we found that we could manually assign a key to the 'Id' property of the user object before creating it. This can be done by generating a GUID and assigning it to the 'Id' property:

user.Id = Guid.NewGuid().ToString();
var result = await _userManager.CreateAsync(user, password);

Alternatively, we can specify that the 'Id' property should be generated by the database using the [DatabaseGenerated(DatabaseGeneratedOption.Identity)] attribute:

public string Id { get; set; }

Manually assigning a key to the 'Id' property or specifying it as a database-generated identity ensures that the user object has a valid primary key before being tracked by Entity Framework, prevents errors related to null primary keys and allows for smooth operation of the Identity functionality in our application.