I have just used the shape tool to create an elliptical buffer around a point. However after doing this, within my layers table I have the symbol seen within the figure below (seen in red box). Note, non of my other layers have any symbol next to them. Does anyone know what the symbol is and what does it mean? I ask this because when I use the Identify feature symbol it will only highlight the new elliptical buffer I just made and wont let me click on anything else.

enter image description here

  • 3
    Looks like a temporary (in memory) layer. You will have to save it do disk if you want to keep it.
    – BERA
    Jan 25, 2019 at 13:04
  • perfect, I have done this and the symbol is gone, however I am still unable to use the identify feature symbol.
    – Louis Tate
    Jan 25, 2019 at 13:06
  • Have you activated the layer by clicking on it in table of contents?
    – BERA
    Jan 25, 2019 at 13:11
  • Yes, Im very confused as to why it isn't working. Im sure its an issue with my computer rather than the software. Was just asking incase it was a software issue
    – Louis Tate
    Jan 25, 2019 at 13:14
  • Is the identify feature symbol greyed out, or do you get no result when clicking the new layer?
    – Erik
    Jan 25, 2019 at 13:15

1 Answer 1


This indicates that the layer is in memory only (called a 'scratch layer') and will be lost when closing the QGIS project (without an additional warning as far as I remember) - unless you save the data to a proper file.

  • 1
    unless you have added the Memory Layer Saver plugin
    – Ian Turton
    Jan 25, 2019 at 16:52

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