Here is what I'd like to achieve in QGIS.

Is there a processing tool to remove the overlapping part of polygons?

It does not matter which polygon gets clipped.

Remove overlapping part of polygons

It is also very important that they do not get merged during the process and that they keep their original attributes since I need to work with them afterwards.


2 Answers 2


You can use the 'Check Geometries' plugin (Vector/Geometry Tools/Check Geometries) to remove overlapping areas.

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  • 1
    Thanks for this answer. This could be the solution but when I open the 'Check geometries' in QGis 2.14.3 Essen on Windows I don't get this check box that your screenshot is showing ! What am I missing ???
    – Enzoupi
    Jul 12, 2016 at 7:23
  • You have to run 'Check for overlaps smaller than (map units sqr.)'. Don't forget to enter a value, that's higher than the overlaps. Jul 12, 2016 at 9:01
  • @eclipsed_by_the_moon, I´ve the same problem, but when i execute "Check Geometries" as you said, My QGIS 2.18.8 crashes and closes. Do you have any idea why this is happening? I got a large numbers of errors, like 600 overlap errors in my data :( May 25, 2017 at 14:41
  • 1
    @Kleber Barcelar, please open a bug report and provide your data at hub.qgis.org. Unfortunately, the geometry checker crashes quite often. Jun 3, 2017 at 19:47
  • the check geometries doesnt have all this stuff ???
    – Luffydude
    Feb 1, 2018 at 10:41

You can use the function Symetrical Difference. In QGIS: Vector -> Geoprocessing Tools --> Symetrical Difference. Here is a brief overview of various tools: Basic Editing Geoprocessing Tools in QGIS

Now we come to your problem. A brief example:

enter image description here

The function Symetrical Difference is started. Select a layer as Input Layer and another layer as Difference Layer. The result looks like this:

enter image description here The geometries are further individual geometries and attributes have not changed.

  • Thanks for your answer. However, I forgot to precise that gaps are to be avoid also. In the end I want one and only one polygon.
    – Enzoupi
    Jul 12, 2016 at 7:21
  • 1
    @Enzoupi The picture in your question has two polygons.
    – PolyGeo
    Jan 1, 2021 at 2:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.