In the present study, we examined whether eye movements facilitate retention of visuo-spatial information in working memory. In two experiments, participants memorised the sequence of the spatial locations of six digits across a retention interval. In some conditions, participants were free to move their eyes during the retention interval, but in others they either were required to remain fixated or were instructed to move their eyes exclusively to a selection of the memorised locations. Memory performance was no better when participants were free to move their eyes during the memory interval than when they fixated a single location. Furthermore, the results demonstrated a primacy effect in the eye movement behaviour that corresponded with the memory performance. We conclude that overt eye movements do not provide a benefit over covert attention for rehearsing visuo-spatial information in working memory. © 2011 The Author(s).