I need to work in WGS 84 so I am trying to project my shapefile into WGS 84.

Despite changing the default CRS to WGS 84, when I mouse over my shapefile I am still getting a different coordinate system (please see image).

Now, if I right-click on my layer and go to properties, and choose WGS 84, the shapefile disappears from the map. So for whatever reason it doesn't seem to want to be this CRS.

In ArcGIS you can use the toolbox to define a transformation - is there an equivalent in QGIS?

enter image description here

Changing the CRS makes my image disappear and that's the problem so ideally I need some suggestions beyond the usual steps (Reprojecting vector layer in QGIS?) as to what might be happening.

  • After you have reprojected your shapefile as described in the link from @Vesanto and set your projection CRS to WGS 84, did you also right-click your layer and chose Zoom to layer?
    – Joseph
    Feb 2, 2017 at 14:04
  • 1
    @Jospeh yours was a crucial step, without doing this I couldn't find it anywhere!
    – Henry Cann
    Feb 2, 2017 at 14:31

2 Answers 2


If you just change its CRS, it will keep the value as they were. For an example, UTM values are in hundreds of thousands, not double digit decimals like WGS84.

So instead of changing the CRS of the layer, I generally try to reproject the whole shapefile, by saving it under a new name: just right-click the layer and choose "Save as..." There you can choose a new CRS for your file.


Another technique that works is to set up a project with at least one other layer with the desired projection. Set OTF to on. Import your layer with the different CRS. It will automatically be brought in with the CRS of your project.

enter image description here

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