I am trying to upload a shapefile to ArcGIS Online, and am consistently getting an error:

"Unable to import this shapefile. This shapefile is too big to add to the map."

. I understand that there are some limitations on what can be uploaded into ArcGIS Online, namely that shapefiles must be smaller than 10MB and contain fewer than 1,000 records.

The shapefile I am uploading has 407 records. Uncompressed, all of the contingent files come to 5.59 MB. Once compressed, the zip file is only 3.55 MB (so well below the 10MB limit).

Any idea as to why I am still getting this error? Any known workarounds?

  • 1
    The Help says that the error can also occur with shapefiles of less than 1000 features when "extracted data is too big to be displayed in a web browser." There are no details on what that means though.
    – mkennedy
    Aug 17, 2016 at 16:58

2 Answers 2


I would try first to make another copy of the file with reduced number of records and try to upload it to figure out if the problem is really caused from the size of the file or from something else.

  • Thanks, Mohannad. I just did this using a subset of the file containing ~140 records. This did upload without a problem. Still though, the complete shapefile meets both of the listed limitations...
    – GabeFS
    Aug 17, 2016 at 15:48
  • If it is a polygon shapefile you can reduce its size by using the simplify tool in ArcGIS Aug 17, 2016 at 16:03

Have you tried publishing it through ArcMap? File>Share As>Service You will have to log in into your ArcGIS Online account first. This usually works great, definitely better than publishing Shapefiles. enter image description here

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