I am expanding the scope of an existing file geodatabase so I would like to move it up a folder hierarchy as well as rename it.

For both of these operations, is it as simple as moving the folder via Windows explorer as well as renaming the folder via Windows explorer?

Complications I'm trying to avoid are if there is some metadata that will be lost within the gdb if the name changes. I can restablish links in mxd files that reference the gdb easily of course.

1 Answer 1


I think you are ok with to cut 'n' paste a file geodatabase folder within Windows file explorer but I would encourage you to use ArcCatalog as thats what it is there for, data management. This will guarantee any other associated files/Metadata are updated as ArcCatalog knows about such stuff whilst Windows file explorer just sees it as another file.

It is a classic mistake that novice GIS users do, to treat GIS data as if it is a "word" or "excel" file. You should always manipulate your GIS data in ArcCatalog.

Also don't use any characters other than letters and numbers in you folder path names...

  • 1
    +1 for recommending AcrCatalog for data management aspect. Was trying to do it via the Catalog window in ArcMap but no multipane dragging or cut option. Jul 6, 2011 at 15:55
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    It'll be much faster through Explorer. I've never had problems copying them that way as long as I can be sure no one is using it. I would use catalog to rename it, though.
    – Sean
    Jul 7, 2011 at 1:28

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