In the last couple of days, everytime I save an mxd file an xml file is created with an identical file name (obviously with .xml rather than .mxd at the end) in the same folder that I've saved the mxd into. Please see below for my test save to see an example, apologies for the really appalling resolution. Anyway I don't know whether there is a simply an option I've selected without realising, however I've checked all the options I can within ArcMap and can't seem to find a solution. Anyway it's very annoying as I have to trawl through folders of ArcMap documents to find all these unnecessary mxds. Also if I delete them it seems to have no effect on the functionality of the mxd file. Any help is much appreciated.

Edit: I forgot to mention I'm using ArcGIS 10 on an ArcView license mostly. However, it also occurs if I am using an ArcInfo license.

Another edit: I opened the xml file in notepad and it contained the following text:

  <FrameworkConfig TagName="FrameworkConfig" Name="FrameworkConfig"
        <TemplateView TagName="TemplateView">
          <ApLayers TagName="ApLayers" />
          <RasterLocation />
          <VectorLocation />
          <SchemaDatabaseLocation />
          <HelpFileName />
          <LoadedDateTime>13/12/2011 8:17:07 AM</LoadedDateTime>

enter image description here

  • What's in the xml file? You can open it in NotePad. Dec 13, 2011 at 0:57
  • We have the same problem on only one of our worksatations, after installing 10.2.2 . I don't think this is default behaviour nor is it the metadata for the mxd.
    – NotARobot
    Apr 23, 2014 at 16:28

1 Answer 1


The .xml file is your metadata file. It is created whenever you save an .mxd because arcmap expects you to add metadata to all your ArcMap projects. It doesn't damage your .mxd to delete it; but really you should be adding metadata to all your maps anyway so you will only be re-creating it later on if you do delete the .xml

  • 1
    But why has it only just started to occur? I really don't want it to be saved in the same folder. It is creating them on a server at work, so effectively doubling the amount of files other people have to trawl through.
    – Duncan
    Dec 13, 2011 at 3:08
  • re: "arcmap expects you to add metadata to all your ArcMap projects" I'm not sure that's correct. There are plenty of places to add metadata within the MXD (eg > File > Map Document Properties), but it's not mandatory to do so. I'm not seeing XML files being created when I save a new MXD. Jan 12, 2012 at 4:04
  • I believe XTools has a 'create XML' feature checked on by default. I always turn it off and handle metadata in other ways. Not sure if if there is XTools for ArcGIS 10 (we're still on 9.3) and/or you've recently installed something similar.
    – hgil
    Jan 12, 2012 at 14:03

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