I'm creating a table and then trying to delete that table inside the same for loop as follows:

for fc in fcList:
    arcpy.GenerateNearTable_analysis(inFile, fc, out_table)
    arcpy.JoinField_management(inFile, "Obj_ID", out_table, "In_FID", ["NEAR_DIST"])

But for some reason the delete statement isn't working. The table still exists after the script completes 'successfully'. When I just run the delete statement alone afterwards (means outside the for loop), then the table is deleted. But I need to delete it inside the for loop so that I can loop further. I have to put some more statements within the for loop later and the table needs to be deleted first for the upcoming statements to work.

Does the Delete_management statement not work within a for loop for any reason?

  • 2
    How did you define out_table? – umbe1987 Jul 17 at 13:07
  • 1
    Can you also please describe the "upcoming statements" you need to execute after the table is deleted? – umbe1987 Jul 17 at 13:08
  • out_table is just a simple table that Generate Near Table tool creates. Please see my comment below for the upcoming statements. – Salman Jul 17 at 14:10

I suspect some sort of file lock is occurring. An alternative approach you could try is to set overwrite to True before the loop

arcpy.env.overwriteOutput = True

This means your out_table is constantly overwritten and then you use the Delete outside the loop as you have.


As discussed in this accepted answer:

I think this is an issue with ArcGIS having open file handles on the files in your temp folder (out_table).

The accepted solution suggested to wrap all the process you need to do in a function, call that and, as the function is returned (finish its execution), all variables within its scope is cleared.

Only then you can call the Delete_management function.

Try something like this and see if it works:

def your_func_name(fc):
    arcpy.GenerateNearTable_analysis(inFile, fc, out_table)
    arcpy.JoinField_management(inFile, "Obj_ID", out_table, "In_FID", ["NEAR_DIST"])

for fc in fcList:
  • This is useful but as I said I need to add some more tools in that function which would create the same out_table again. So those tools wont work if the table already exists. That is why I wanted to delete that table each time after Generate Near Table tool ran, within the function. – Salman Jul 17 at 14:09

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