I have been looking for an answer to this question for the last several weeks, so hope that someone here has encountered the same issue and has a viable solution to my problem. I am currently using the following configuration:

• Windows 7 Pro

• QGIS 2.2 (also tested 2.4 with same issue on a separate system)

The issue I am seeing is that that once I reach 254 or 256 layers added to a project, as soon as I add any additional layers, all layers disappear from my map and I am unable to see any of my data. I work with large amounts of data. Is this a limitation in QGIS or is it a setting somewhere? I have also tested MapInfo, which I am thinking of buying if QGIS is unable to handle the load; MapInfo does not have this limitation.

Any ideas? I can provide more information if necessary.


  • Fyi sounds like a "max no. open files limit": hub.qgis.org/issues/4013 – mdsumner Sep 10 '14 at 4:01
  • Hi mdsumner, Thanks for the quick reply but I did see this post and it did not provide a clear solution to this issue. I also seen that the post was geared more towards MAC OS not Windows. Like I stated before, I tested loading all my data into MapInfo and I don't see the problem, so I am thinking that the issues is with the QGIS software application; if the OS would be at fault I would have seen it with any GIS software I would have thought. – Rayray Sep 10 '14 at 4:08
  • Consider Manifold over Mapinfo btw. – mdsumner Sep 10 '14 at 4:11
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    For display purpose push all your routes into one or a few database tables and classify them for viewing by route-ID. It looks like one layer can have 999 classes but I am not sure. 254 layers * 999 classes makes quite a lot. Too simple? – user30184 Sep 10 '14 at 10:03
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    Does one of those layers have a bad geometry, I have seen that make the map stop rendering correctly. Not sure why but something to consider. – Nathan W Sep 10 '14 at 12:51

This seems to be more of an operating system limit, not something defined in QGIS. It's been further documented here, only with a focus on Linux. As mentioned in the above link, keep in mind that when using shapefiles in particular, you're actually opening three files. Beyond the open file limit, there are practical constraints on RAM, video card memory, and other machine capacities.

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