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So I have access to a hosted feature service, and I want to take from ArcGIS online and download to use in ArcMap. I didn't create this feature service. I don't own it, so the options I would typically use aren't available to me. (i.e: there's no export option on the right side of the feature's services overview page, nor is there an option under the layer to download as a geodatabase. Click on 'Open in ArcGIS Desktop' just downloads an item.pitem (don't know what that is).

Is there a way for me to download this data without creating a replica? Is there a way for me to sync edits from ArcMap back into ArcGIS online?

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I do not think you can sync if you are not authorized there are couple of ways I know to replicate/download the data, first open qgis and add the feature service or map service Once the data is loaded you can then right click the layer name and save as a shapefile or some other formats, If you do not have qGIS you can login/register to demo.cartoview.net you will find a tool that will copy the GIS feature service URL to a geonode layer, once the layer is created visit the layer page you will find a download link for a shape file and some other formats

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The hosted feature layer will need to be enabled for data sync, but this can only be done by the hosted layers publisher (ie: Not you).

https://enterprise.arcgis.com/en/portal/latest/use/enable-offline-mapping.htm

Also in the above link documentation, it suggests that having the author enable this, will also help facilitate downloading the data into ArcMap, ready for data sync back.

So - on the assumption that you are allowed to edit the data or its yours to edit, you will need to get in contact with an AGOL administrator that can facilitate this.

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