I would like to update my ArcGIS from version 10.3 to 10.4 (in particular, I am interested in ArcMap and arcpy).

I read that on the ESRI webpage referring to the update from 10.1 to 10.2 that any customizations, add-ons, or third-party applications that were installed for ArcGIS 10.1 must be reapplied for ArcGIS 10.2.

If I update, my ArcGIS folder (the folder created during ArcGIS installation, C:\Users\Myusername\Documents\ArcGIS, where I stored all the shapefiles, layers, bookmarks etc.) will be deleted? Or is there any chance I will lose my data? If yes, how can I prevent this?

  • It's not possible to lose important data because, by definition, important data is backed up frequently enough to prevent loss.
    – Vince
    Jun 23, 2016 at 10:37

1 Answer 1


Personally, I would not store any important data in my Documents folder.

However, I would not expect an ArcGIS for Desktop upgrade to overwrite the folder named ArcGIS within it. I would be more concerned about its accidental deletion.

If you have any concerns simply copy/move that data into a folder that you are confident will not be inadvertently deleted.

  • Ok the upload was succesfully done without any data loss. Nevertheless,I did as you suggested me and made a backup copy in a "safe" location. Just one question: why wouldn't you store any data in the Documents folder? Where would you store them? Jun 23, 2016 at 11:39
  • In past upgrades I have lost references to addins and customization but not the actual tools (files) themselves, so it was an easy matter of just using addin manager to re-establish the tools. As a side note, in recent upgrades, addins that are in their own folder (e.g. c:\myproduct\bin\myaddin) and not those that were installed by double clicking on them "survived" and the toolbar was there after the upgrade. As for data this is usually kept in project specific folders with routine backups.
    – Hornbydd
    Jun 23, 2016 at 11:41
  • @TommasoSacco, why would you not use Documents folder, that's definitely another question for GIS SE (and a good one).
    – Hornbydd
    Jun 23, 2016 at 11:46

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