Has anyone come across this error when opening up a MXD file?

Opening the selected ArcMap document failed.

enter image description here

ArcMap had frozen on me right before this, even though no processes were in the middle of running - clicking anywhere triggered no response other than that super annoying "ding!". I was able to close the program by right clicking in the task bar and selecting close, at which point I was asked to save the results of the editing session I was in and also save the MXD file. I did both. And now it can't be opened up.

Any ideas on how to fix this?


You really are fairly stuck here. You may be able to recover your map document using the MXD Doctor tool:

MXD Doctor is a stand-alone application provided with ArcGIS: (Start>All Programs>ArcGIS>Desktop Tools>MXD Doctor) It provides functionality to analyze broken .mxd files. Depending on the analysis, entities contained in the broken .mxd file can be copied from the broken file into a new or existing .mxd file.

  • This fixed whatever the problem was! I actually didn't know that there was such a thing! – traggatmot Oct 9 '15 at 2:15

You could try opening the mxd from WITHIN ArcMap vs using the mxd itself to launch ArcMap.

I've seen that before where an mxd won't open from double-clicking, but instead needs to be opened from within the program


This issue happened to me this morning, and I solved it by going to Windows Explorer, right clicking on the MXD file, COPY, paste. Now you have the original and a new copy, and the copy opened just fine.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.