Using ArcGIS Pro 1.3.1 I created a project called TestProject in its own folder.

As expected an examination of the TestProject folder in Windows Explorer showed that it contained TestProject.aprx, TestProject.gdb and TestProject.tbx (as well as Index and ImportLog subfolders).

I proceeded to do considerable work in this project before deciding to rename my project from TestProject to ProperProject.

Renaming the project folder from TestProject to ProperProject using Windows Explorer worked as expected but left the old names of TestProject.aprx, TestProject.gdb and TestProject.tbx within it, as expected.

I was hoping to rename these as ProperProject.aprx, ProperProject.gdb and ProperProject.tbx so I tried to do this two ways:

  1. Using Windows Explorer to rename the three items but when I then opened ProperProject.aprx it resulted in a project with TestProject.gdb (empty), TestProject.tbx (empty), ProperProject.gdb and ProperProject.tbx
  2. Using Windows Explorer to rename TestProject.aprx to ProperProject.aprx and then opening ProperProject.aprx to use the Project pane to try and perform the remaining two renames:

    a. Renaming TestProject.gdb to ProperProject.gdb seemed to work as would be expected from the help that covers that in Rename project items

    b. No option to rename TestProject.tbx to ProperProject.tbx was available. I cannot find this mentioned in the help.

    c. When I closed (without saving) and re-opened ProperProject.aprx it once again created a new TestProject.gdb (empty)

Is it possible to rename an ArcGIS Pro project in a way that also renames the project's *.aprx, *.gdb and *.tbx to the new project name?


3 Answers 3


The ArcGIS Pro Documentation has a page Change project settings which outlines what you can and can't do with your project once it's created.

That said, I did some testing, originally based on the steps you mention in your question. I managed to fully rename my project:

  • Project Folder
  • .aprx
  • Default Geodatabase
  • Default Toolbox
  • Additional File Geodatabase
  • Enterprise GDB connection left as-is

There was a number of steps involved, but it could probably be scripted using arcpy without too much effort. Here's what I did.

  1. Made a new test project called ExampleProject (ie your TestProject) which contained three maps, one layout (with map frames from the three maps), Default GDB, extra FGDB, Enterprise GDB connection, Default Toolbox including two models. The maps used data from all three databases.

    enter image description here

    Note these are named according to the original project - ExampleProject.tbx, ExampleProject.gdb etc.

    enter image description here

  2. Closed my four tabs (three maps and one layout) to remove locks

  3. Saved and closed ArcGIS Pro
  4. In Explorer I renamed the folder and the .aprx to my new Project name: ProperProject

    enter image description here

  5. Double-clicked on ProperProject.aprx to open the newly renamed project in ArcGIS Pro

  6. In the ArcGIS Pro project pane, Right-click > Rename the two Geodatabases

  7. Right-click > Rename the Folder connection, which was still aliased to ExampleProject even though it referenced the correct renamed folder.

    enter image description here

  8. Right-click on ExampleProject.tbx and select Properties. Renamed Toolbox in the properties dialog

    enter image description here

  9. Reopened my Map tabs and corrected any broken layer links, due to the renamed Geodatabases. (I thought the first time I tested that I only had to fix broken links to the extra FGDB but on my second run, for screenshots, I had to do the Default GDB as well, so maybe I was mistaken first time through)

    enter image description here

  10. Save my ArcGIS Pro project.

My project has now been completely renamed. I could not find any reference to my original project. The Layout showed the map frames from the three maps as per how they were originally set up.

enter image description here

enter image description here

As I say, it could possibly be scripted fairly easily, which could be useful for future project renames as required.

  • Many thanks for the time you have spent on this. It may be a few days before I can test and accept, but the steps described sound logical. I hope they don't leave something that would appear to be a common requirement as easy to script rather than OOTB for too long.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 3:50
  • 1
    @PolyGeo I had nothing better to do on a quiet Sunday evening! There is cause for an Idea here as this is much harder than just renaming an mxd, yet in my opinion it should be (almost) as easy.
    – Midavalo
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 3:57
  • I wonder whether the complication is that a project folder can contain multiple *.aprx files and an *.aprx can reference multiple geodatabases and toolboxes. Nevertheless, if just the *.aprx with its default file geodatabase and default toolbox were renamable together then I could cope with manually/code changing the remainder.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 4:12
  • I just tried your procedure which has a couple of things in it that I had not thought of trying. My result was that it renamed the tbx well and appeared to rename the gdb properly while I still had the project open. However, when I saved, closed and re-opened the project the ExampleProject.gdb resurrected. I think your earlier hint of Change project settings - ArcGIS Pro Documentation may let me reset my default geodatabase and toolbox before I save and exit the project so I'll let you know how I go.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 23:37
  • 1
    I succeeded in doing this just now. I had to use the Project page to reset the Default geodatabase to the ProperProject geodatabase. The Default toolbox seemed to change without the extra step. I'm now ready to try this on my real-life project.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 0:06

To try and get this addressed for ArcGIS Pro 2.0, I have submitted an ArcGIS Idea entitled Renaming ArcGIS Pro project with its APRX, file geodatabase and toolbox needs to be easy.

I would encourage anyone reading this answer to upvote that ArcGIS Idea.


My work around for this situation is to create a new blank project with the name I want then drag the layers from the old map into the new one. I do not save any working data in the automatically created gdb or tbx files so I don't need to worry about those.

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