I am using ArcMap 10.0 (Editor). I have got a feature-dataset within a GDB with several feature-classes and an topology.

I am unable to find a way to delete/remove a feature class from that feature-dataset.

To add a feature-class you go drag&drop onto your feature-dataset. That does not work for removing. The right-click context menu on a feature-class does not provide the option "delete" (gray). I did try that in the cataloge-window and in ArcCatalog.

The help does not provide a lot of useful information on that topic either.

I have altered one of the feature-classes in a different GDB and I would like to update/exchange that feature-class. At the moment the only way seems to delete the whole feature-dataset and recreate it with the updated feature-classes. But that way you are loosing your topology and it does not seem to be a effective way of dealing with that sort of issue.

Has anyone got any ideas?

1 Answer 1


You will not be able to delete a feature class which participates in a topology. You should first exclude this one from the topology.

You can either use a GP tool Remove Feature Class From Topology (Data Management) or do it manually via Removing a feature class.

If you don't really need to recreate/replace a geodatabase object (such as a feature class), consider modifying the schema of the feature class, truncating the table (GP tool Truncate Table) or appending (GP tool Append) new features. This will leave the topology properties untouched and will save you time.

  • Excactly, the feature-class participating in a topology was causing the problem. Thanks for your help. I did need to change the geometry, so only exchanging the tabledata was not an option in this case. Nevertheless, some good advice. I will need that for another task. So thanks for that as well.
    – Danfro
    Dec 12, 2014 at 10:02
  • @Daniel, you can change the geometry of existing feature class without replacing it with another. There are multiple GP tools available for that and you can automate most of the workflows with ModelBuilder or Python. You could start a new question and folks will be able to help you out :) Dec 12, 2014 at 10:20

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