I'm having a problem applying existing styles and loading new ones in ArcMap 10.1.

I go to customize > Style manager and i see that it is empty.

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After, i click on Styles tab and i select from the list the existing ESRI style and also select a new one to add.

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After i click ok the Style manager appears empty as it was in the beginning , i do not know if this is some kind of bug or either i need to enable some add-in or extension.

  • 2
    The style files are MS Access databases. Custom style files are typically stored in "C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.X\ArcMap" ESRI Styles are in "C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.X\Styles" Any chance you don't have permission to access these directories? Can you locate these style files and ensure there are no locks? Lastly, remove legacy style files in case you upgraded from 10.0 ("C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.0) Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 14:31
  • i can access the ESRI Styles in "C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.X\Styles" and it seems all the styles are in the folder , but i dont understand when i click ok to add one of the styles nothing happens... Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 19:00
  • I don't know. I used to have issues with ArcMap not retaining styles after I added them. This has gone away with a newer version. Positively should not be happening and nothing needs to be enabled in order for the style manager to work correctly. You could try a clean install if you don't mind doing that. Before re-installing completely remove all traces of ArcGIS using some powerful uninstaller like iObit or something like that to ensure all is gone. Remove all install folders, etc. Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 19:14
  • any other suggestions , reinstalling will be my last attempt.... Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 19:39
  • See geonet.esri.com/thread/39626 copy and the delete styles_idx.dat file should fix the issue - run a blank .mxd as administrator
    – Mapperz
    Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 19:49

1 Answer 1


The same thing happened to me.

For some reason ArcMap is not loading the style, but loading the map document again should resolve the issue and show the new style.

It seems that a bug may be present.

  • I think that I have seen this once or twice too. I think it resolved by closing and re-opening ArcMap and possibly rebooting.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Oct 15, 2017 at 22:05

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