Working in an enterprise system. We need to determine if everyone needs to update to 10.6 at the same time for mxd cross-compatibility or can we update from 10.5 as needed.


You need to save a copy of the mxd to an earlier version if you have saved the mxd in ArcGIS latest version 10.6.

Based on ArcGIS help: Saving a map:

New documents cannot be opened in earlier versions of the software; however, you can use the Save A Copy command to make a copy of a map document so you can open and work with it in previous versions of ArcGIS.

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    Just tested 10.6 vs 10.5, can confirm must use Save A Copy in order for it to work – Maksim Jan 29 '18 at 15:27

As @JordanMiller mentioned, the MXD Doctor can fix the mxds, but not just looking backwards, but from future releases. I just used the 10.5 MXD Doctor to backward save some 10.6 mxds for use in 10.5 (I had to downgrade for HEC-GeoHMS and HEC-GeoRAS, and didn't think to save as before uninstalling 10.6).


The MXD Doctor will also work. The tool can be found here..

C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.6\Tools

I have had a similar issue and I used Python script to fix it... You need to open a blank document in ArcMap, then open the Python window. Then copy/paste the following code, just repoint the path to the proper mxds...

mxd= arcpy.mapping.MapDocument(mxd_path)

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