C# – the best way to remove duplicates from a datatable


I have checked the whole site and googled on the net but was unable to find a simple solution to this problem.

I have a datatable which has about 20 columns and 10K rows. I need to remove the duplicate rows in this datatable based on 4 key columns. Doesn't .Net have a function which does this? The function closest to what I am looking for was datatable.DefaultView.ToTable(true, array of columns to display), But this function does a distinct on all the columns.

It would be great if someone could help me with this.

EDIT: I am sorry for not being clear on this. This datatable is being created by reading a CSV file and not from a DB. So using an SQL query is not an option.

Best Solution

You can use Linq to Datasets. Check this. Something like this:

// Fill the DataSet.
DataSet ds = new DataSet();
ds.Locale = CultureInfo.InvariantCulture;

List<DataRow> rows = new List<DataRow>();

DataTable contact = ds.Tables["Contact"];

// Get 100 rows from the Contact table.
IEnumerable<DataRow> query = (from c in contact.AsEnumerable()
                              select c).Take(100);

DataTable contactsTableWith100Rows = query.CopyToDataTable();

// Add 100 rows to the list.
foreach (DataRow row in contactsTableWith100Rows.Rows)

// Create duplicate rows by adding the same 100 rows to the list.
foreach (DataRow row in contactsTableWith100Rows.Rows)

DataTable table =

// Find the unique contacts in the table.
IEnumerable<DataRow> uniqueContacts =

Console.WriteLine("Unique contacts:");
foreach (DataRow uniqueContact in uniqueContacts)