I have many feature classes in a geodatabase and I need to save/export them into shapefiles.

Any Ideas?

Click on every single layer -> export is not a good option, due to the number of feature classes in that geodatabase.

3 Answers 3


you can use the export (multiple).

In ArcCatalog...
Just right click on the database and choose "export to shapefile (multiple)"


If you do it at the database level
you will see everything in the database in the tool listed (there is a remove button if there are a few you don't want).

If you do it at the feature dataset level
you see everything in that fds with the same options to add or remove.

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Just choose the output folder and execute.


In the Python window, enter

import arcpy

arcpy.env.workspace = r"copy/and/paste/the/workspace/path/here" 
# The "r" before the '"' allows you to put in normal windows path format (back slashes) by just copying and pasting.

outLocation = "C:/Users/dpdb/Desktop/" # or whatever the destination folder is

inFeatures = arcpy.ListFeatureClasses() """ This will perform this on the listed workspace from above."""

arcpy.FeatureClassToShapefile_conversion (inFeatures, outLocation)
  • This is exactly what I was looking for! Thank-you :) I think it´s helpful to know that you´re able to export just these feature classes you need. Therefore define inFeatures like: inFeatures = ["parcels", "schools"]
    – marcel
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 7:57

Go into ArcMap, make a selection (or def query) if you don't want all of your data exported. Right click in the TOC, export data -> Choose a directory and NOT a gdb and your file will automatically be created as a shapefile. Feature classes are simply features that reside in a gdb. Their non-gdb counterparts are automatically shapefiles.

You can do this from ArcCatalog by exporting the feature class to a non-gdb directory too I believe.

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