I just edited a shapefile in ArcMap and I was unaware that this would edit the shapefile in ALL ArcMap documents in which I had used it.

I want to restore this shapefile but cannot figure out how.

I tried on Windows "view previous versions" but it says there are no previous versions.

I also tried according to the ArcGIS website: http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/latest/extensions/production-mapping/restoring-a-previous-version-of-a-file.htm But I cannot manage to get the product library window the way they suggest.

What can I do?

  • 4
    If you saved the edits from the edit session, it is not possible to revert to an earlier state of a shapefile, unless you backed up the data somewhere. – Tom Dec 24 '18 at 18:50
  • How about the method that the arcGIS site provides? Only problem is that I cannot find the product library using the steps that they say. – Irena Dec 24 '18 at 19:16
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    It seems unlikely you had been using the Production Mapping extension. The ONLY ways to restore your datafile are to utilize your backup or reacquire the data from whence it came. – Vince Dec 24 '18 at 19:19
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    @Irena, that only works if you were using Production Mapping before you made the edits...and AFAIK, it uses a geodatabase to track changes, so it wouldn't apply to your independent shapefile. – Tom Dec 24 '18 at 19:21

As you have unfortunately discovered, you cannot restore your shape file. The MXD does not store the spatial data it displays, but rather stores the reference to that spatial data. When you edit the shapefile, all documents referencing it will be updated. This is actually a good thing in most cases - you don’t need to update multiple map documents, only one shapefile.

If you want to edit the data for a single map, it is better to make a copy of the shapefile and reference that copy in that MXD.

To restore your other maps, I recommend checking if your employer (assuming this is a work related map) keeps a backup of data and get the IT department to restore the shapefile (ensuring the also restore the associated files that go accompany the .shp). If there is no backup, you will unfortunately need to recreate the original to the best of your ability.

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