I'm trying to convert an ArcGIS layer into a .kml format so I can use it in Google Earth. I've found several tutorials for this, but none of them have been helpful so far. They seem to be for an older version of ArcGIS, where the "Toolbox" drop-down menus provide a list of tools, one of which will perform the conversion. In my version (10.3), the "Toolbox" menu only gives me options for adding a new toolbox, opening a new toolbox, and opening a new Python toolbox. The ArcGIS support docs only give me lines of Python code which I presumably can use somehow, but I don't know Python.

How can convert this layer to .kml?

  • 1
    I'm a little confused here. Do you have toolboxes below the ArcToolbox heading? You should see things like "Analysis Tools", "Cartography Tools", "Conversion Tools". The convert to KML is in the Conversion Tools toolbox, in "To KML" toolset.
    – Midavalo
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 23:16

2 Answers 2


As Midavalo said, you should see Conversion tools in your Toolbox. In there, open the To KML Toolset.

enter image description here

You want Layer to KML. Follow the instructions.

If you're not seeing any of the toolboxes, I think there may be something wrong with your installation and I recommend re-installing ArcGIS.


It seems that you are having a problem finding the tool. If you us the search tool Search tool logo

and just type in layer to kml and the option will appear.

Search table

Then just follow the steps that the tool gives you.

  • You're right, I was struggling to find the tool. The layout I see on my computer is drastically different than all of the layouts I've seen in screenshots. Everything shows the old file/dropdown menu format, while I see the newer "ribbon" style. I eventually found it under the "Analysis" tab of the ribbon, where it is called simply "Tools." Clicking on it brought up a menu, "Geoprocessing - Favorites," where I could then click on "Toolboxes." From there it was easy. Thanks for all the help, everyone!
    – user72959
    Commented Jun 5, 2016 at 20:12

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