I created a new gdb by

arcpy.CreateFileGDB_management('e:/Rstack', 'new.gdb')
arcpy.env.workspace = 'e:/Rstack/new.gdb'

But how to set this new gdb as my default gdb by arcpy, without opening ArcGIS desktop? Setting env workspace does not seem to work here.


2 Answers 2


This took a bit of digging, but it annoyed me enough this morning to dig almost all the way down. Unfortunately I didn't find an accessible solution for v10 arcpy, however in Pro it's available out of the box as arcpy.mp.ArcGISProject().defaultGeodatabase

python ArcGIS Pro

    import arcpy
    aprx_path = r'X:\Projects\2019\ENV.533.aprx'
    gdb_path = r'X:\shared\ENV_default.gdb'

    aprx = arcpy.mp.ArcGISProject(aprx_path) # or 'CURRENT' in live py console
    aprx.defaultGeodatabase = gdb_path
    del arcpy.env.workspace # Optional, ensure default gdb used in rest of this script

From https://pro.arcgis.com/en/pro-app/arcpy/mapping/arcgisproject-class.htm

python ArcMap 10

    # Not real code! waiting/digging for solution
    import arcpy.mapping.convertArcObjectToPythonObject as convert
    defgdb = convert('IGxCatalogDefaultDatabase')
    defgdb.DefaultDatabaseName = r"D:\path\to\default.gdb"

From <http://your.kudos.link/here>

C# ArcGIS Pro

    //Create an empty project. The project will be created in the default folder
    //It will be named MyProject1, MyProject2, or similar...
    await Project.CreateAsync();
    //Gets the current project
    var project = Project.Current;
    //Get default gdb path
    var projGDBPath = Project.Current.DefaultGeodatabasePath;

From https://github.com/esri/arcgis-pro-sdk/wiki/ProSnippets-content#get-the-projects-default-gdb-path

.NET ArcMap 10

    IWorkspaceName name = new WorkspaceNameClass();
    name.WorkspaceFactoryProgID = "esriDataSourcesGDB.FileGDBWorkspaceFactory";
    name.PathName = @"E:\Projects\WorldSoil\ProjectData.gdb";
    IGxCatalogDefaultDatabase gdb = app as IGxCatalogDefaultDatabase;
    gdb.DefaultDatabaseName = name;

From http://help.arcgis.com/en/sdk/10.0/arcobjects_net/componenthelp/index.html#/IGxCatalogDefaultDatabase_Interface/0014000000qw000000/

VBA ArcMap 10

    Private Function MxDocument_OpenDocument() As Boolean
    Dim pWorkspaceName As IWorkspaceName
    Set pWorkspaceName = New WorkspaceName
    pWorkspaceName.WorkspaceFactoryProgID = "esriDataSourcesGDB.FileGDBWorkspaceFactory"
    pWorkspaceName.PathName = "C:\Scratch\MyDefaultGDB.gdb"
    Dim pGxCatalogDefaultDatabase As IGxCatalogDefaultDatabase
    Set pGxCatalogDefaultDatabase = Application
    pGxCatalogDefaultDatabase.DefaultDatabaseName = pWorkspaceName
    End Function

Placing this code into the Normal template section means that the code will be executed every time an MXD is opened.

From https://gis.stackexchange.com/a/192717/108

  • Some good diggin'! I like seeing how to achieve the same thing, setting the default database, across the different ArcGIS environments.
    – Hornbydd
    Jan 11, 2019 at 9:43

How To: Set the default Home folder and geodatabase location for new map documents:

Instructions provided describe how to create and update a registry string value used to override the default location of the Home folder for new documents. This process involves editing the system registry.


Alternatively, a sample toolbox is available on arcgis.com containing a single script tool.

  • -1 because things have changed. It was the best answer available a few years ago as there were no arcpy options but that's changed and it's now off topic (non-code answer to a "looking for a code method" question) Jan 10, 2019 at 22:19

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