I need to write a script that loops through shapefiles in a folder and adds fields to each shp. It works for one file at a time, but the added for loop go through the folder is throwing an error that I have included after the code. The print statement prints the name of the first file in the folder, then the next line (fieldsShp02 = arcpy.ListFields(file)) throws the error, which says it does not exist.

Why is it making that complaint?

>>> import arcpy
... import arcgisscripting
... import os
... import sys
... import types
... import locale
... #Input FC
... sourceFC = r"G:\Backup.gdb\muni_provided_utilities_points_copy"
... rootdir = r"G:\Orland Park\CH EAST ORLAND^WESTORLAND2"
... fieldsShp01 = arcpy.ListFields(sourceFC)
... newFields = []

... for file in os.listdir(rootdir):
... #Output shp
...     if file.endswith(".shp"):
...         print "The file does exist:", file 
...         fieldsShp02 = arcpy.ListFields(file)
...         for field01 in fieldsShp01:
...             exists = False
...             for field02 in fieldsShp02:
...                 if (field01.name == field02.name and field01.type == field02.type and field01.length == field02.length):
...                     exists = True
...                 if (exists == False):
...                     if (field01.name != 'OBJECTID' and field01.name != 'SHAPE' and field01.name != 'CHECKED'):
...                         newFields.append([field01.name, field01.type, field01.length]) 
...             exists = True         
... for field in newFields:
...     fieldnames = field[0]
...     trimmed_fnames = fieldnames[0:10]
...     arcpy.AddField_management(file, trimmed_fnames, field[1], "", "", field[2], "", "NON_NULLABLE","NON_REQUIRED","")

The file does exist: AbandinedSanitarySewerForceMain.shp

Runtime error Traceback (most recent call last): File "", line 17, in File "j:\apps\arcgis\desktop10.4\arcpy\arcpy__init__.py", line 1138, in ListFields return gp.listFields(dataset, wild_card, field_type) File "j:\apps\arcgis\desktop10.4\arcpy\arcpy\geoprocessing_base.py", line 346, in listFields self._gp.ListFields(*gp_fixargs(args, True)))

IOError: "AbandinedSanitarySewerForceMain.shp" does not exist

1 Answer 1


ArcPy does not know which directory your shapefile is in. You need to provide the full path to the shapefile.

fieldsShp02 = arcpy.ListFields (os.path.join (rootdir, file))

  • I believe if you set the workspace to rootdir, ListFields will work without this.
    – SMiller
    May 22, 2019 at 18:46
  • @Regulus great. Please mark the answer as correct. May 22, 2019 at 19:13

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