Over the past few days I have noticed a Folder named 1 on my Windows desktop (Windows 10 Home). I delete it every time I see it, then notice it again a few hours later.

I kept a close eye on my desktop to try to catch when it appeared (I thought maybe it was a virus) and discovered that it appeared as ArcMap finished loading - the splash screen disappears and the ArcMap window appears at the same time the 1 folder appears.

No folder icon on my desktop while ArcMap is opening:
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ArcMap is now open and a new folder has appeared on my desktop:
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What is causing ArcMap to create this new folder on my desktop, and how do I stop it? I have been using ArcMap for years and have never seen this before.

  • Thanks for this. I started noticing the empty 1 folder showing up when I got a new computer. Somewhere in downloading 10.5, something changed from the configuration on my old machine. I hope your solution works.
    – Fourester
    Jul 13, 2019 at 0:29

1 Answer 1


While I was writing the question I continued to search, and came across this old post on Geonet which suggested looking in the AdvancedArcMapSettings utility, which can be found in

C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.5\Utilities

On the System Paths tab, the path for Templates Path was set to just 1 rather than an actual path.

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Clicking on Reset all values to default restored the correct path

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Clicked Apply and closed the utility and reopened ArcMap. Sure enough the 1 folder didn't re-create.

Note: The utility needs to be run with ArcMap closed, and I had to Run as Administrator in order to save the changes.

The Geonet post also indicated that the folder would be created wherever the map document was created. So I took a look in other folders that I'd used MXDs in, and found a 1 in my working folder D:\GIS\SE as well.

I still don't know why it happened, but at least I've found how/where and been able to fix it.

  • I recently, saw this folder named "1" on a site I was working at for a few months. It seemed to appear around the same time IT had implemented some additional backup and I had not thought to consider ArcGIS Desktop a possible source. I'm no longer at that site but will let them know about your findings here.
    – PolyGeo
    Jul 13, 2019 at 1:32

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