Removing metadata from shapefiles is fairly easy, since they are stored in a seperate xml file.

How can I remove or reset all metadata in a FileGeoDatabase (*.gdb)?

  • The only way to corrupt metadata like that would be to create a new feature class with the same field names/types, copy the rows, drop the original, and rename the clone. – Vince Apr 18 '16 at 10:37
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    I am assuming you mean the geoprocessing history? There is a tool for that: arcpy.ClearWorkspaceCache_management(). If I am wrong, I guess you could always import a blank metadata file using import desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.3/tools/conversion-toolbox/… – Ben S Nadler Apr 21 '16 at 5:20
  • Sadly arcpy.ClearWorkspaceCache_management() only works with SDE not with *.gdb. – EikeMike Feb 3 '17 at 14:02

Thanks and 1up for your idea, Ben S Nadler. Using the following function to import an blank metadata file does the trick for me.


  • Has anyone tried this method on a large dataset? I have a FGDB with 400+ layers (vector and raster) and was curious if anyone else experienced any problems replacing all the metadata with a blank metadata file. Some odd reason it kills ArcCatalog for me. I am simply trying to remove all the metadata from the FGDB. I miss using the simpler Personal GeoDatabase (PGDB) as you could remove all the metadata with a couple of clicks going through the MS Access tables (back end). – spaulson2 Jun 23 '16 at 21:36

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