I came across an issue where I can no longer run a select by attribute on a field (In my example it is "Students_7") in a shapefile that previously worked. Even when I build the query using the wizard (see screenshot) it does not return any results.

Select By Attribute Not Working

I tried making a new column in my shapefile, with the same datatype, and then used the field calculator to make my new field equal to Students_7. I then ran the same select by attribute query on this new field and it worked.

Does anyone know why the select by attribute function no longer works on my Students_7 field? The only thing I did today, which is when this change happened, is join some files together, I've since gone and made sure to remove all other joins, I can see that "Students_7" is an indexed field, but I'm not sure how or when this happened.

  • 1
    Have you tried deleting the index, may be it has become corrupt? Try that then add it back?
    – Hornbydd
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 23:37
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    Has your index been build with the UNIQUE option? I can see that the values are not unique which may be confusing the index if it is expecting unique values. Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 0:13
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    Thank you, it seems to have been a corrupt index issue. Commented Feb 20, 2019 at 7:08

1 Answer 1


@Hornbydd suggested I look at the Index, and that seems to have been the root of the issue.

I went into ArcCatalog to see about re-building the index, and when I went to the file properties>Indexes it said the layer did not have an index, so I created a new one.

Then I went back into ArcGIS looked at my file's attribute table, and the asterisk over the Students_7 field disappeared and select by attribute now works, so I guess it did get corrupt or something.

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