I have one question regarding export shapefiles from QGIS to import after to ArcMap 10.6. I export the shapefiles as Save data/ESRI shapefile. After when I try to upload in ArcMap this shapefile, I always got the same error: Could not upload the specific file.

The only difference between the shapefiles exported from QGIS is that instead of having .sbn and .sbx files, I have .qpj files.

Someone knows how to successfully exported in QGIS shapefiles for after importing to ArcMap?

  • Did you tried to export it from the layers panel or layer menu. Right click on it > save as > Format (Esri Shapefile) > and define the file name and location.
    – Moh
    Jul 19, 2018 at 21:27
  • 1
    The .sbn/.sbx and .prj files are not technically part of the spec. You can build the spatial index in ArcMap or via ArcPy, so there's no reason for QGIS to populate them, and every reason not to.
    – Vince
    Jul 19, 2018 at 23:41
  • yes, it what I am trying Moh, but when I tried to upload to ArcMap, I always got Could not upload specific file
    – Sss
    Jul 20, 2018 at 2:01
  • 2
    How did you try to load the Shapefile into ArcMap? You only need the file with .shp to drag into your map. Or you use that "yellow rectangle with a plus"-button and then load your Shapefile. If your error really is "Could not upload the specific file".. then you probably did something else than loading a Shapefile into ArcMap.
    – DirkB.
    Jul 20, 2018 at 7:04
  • 1
    Unless you're not strictly bound to Shapefiles I'd generally recommend using Geopackage which is supported by ArcMap since version 10.2.2
    – maxwhere
    May 20, 2020 at 13:02

3 Answers 3


Faced with the same problem, reducing the number of columns did the trick for me. I deleted all irrelevant columns with QGIS and then the shapefile was readable in ArcMAP too.

  • This worked for me as well.
    – Adi
    May 18, 2021 at 0:14

Try to export out the data from QGIS as a KML. Then use the KML to Layer Tool within ArcToolbox->Conversion Tools-> KML To Layer. Once the data is in ArcMap, export out the layer as a shapefile and when prompted, select yes to add the exported data to the map. Sometimes exporting out data directly from ArcMap fixes issues/corrupt files with shapefiles.


The SBX and SBN are note required files for an ESRI shapefile. The lack of an SBX and SBN are not causing the issue with ArcGIS. Note the coordinate reference system (CRS) of these data in QGIS. Exit QGIS. Delete the QPJ file using a file browser. Add the SHP file to ArcGIS. Use the ArcToolbox tool Define Projection to define the CRS for these data. See this link for more info.

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