At 10.7.1 I would like to control the Geoprocessing Options > Overwrite the outputs of geoprocessing operations setting from within a model.

Here's why: I've created a model, stored on a shared network drive, that is being used by a constantly-changing variety of individuals. They may need to re-run the model over time from different computers. They've been instructed to manually check the ArcMap Geoprocessing Options Overwrite option to "on", but - being human - they often forget, and resulting runs of the model fail due to the inability to overwrite.

All data is stored as FGDB feature classes. I'm deleting all intermediate data within the model, so that is not a problem. However, the final output of the model must be saved between model runs. It is this final output data that I would like to overwrite the next time the model runs, regardless of the Geoprocessing Options setting.

I've searched, but haven't found a way to control this setting from within a model. I suppose that I could modify the model to delete any existing data as the model's first step, but this seems kinda kludgey. My model-building skills are weak, so I'm turning to SE for assistance. How do experts solve this situation?

1 Answer 1


This environment variable is not included in those available from within a model. (Eg, see the discussion at: https://community.esri.com/thread/179153 ).

As suggested there, perhaps you could modify your model to delete the old dataset first - before attempting to output the new/replacement dataset (if it exists)?

(Depending on what your model does, another option may be to truncate the existing dataset and then append the new results to it, instead of deleting and re-creating it.)

  • Thanks, I guess I'll have to modify the model to initially delete the pre-existing feature class. But I can predict that the model will then eventually fail because Arc does such a shoddy job of cleaning up file locks after itself (community.esri.com/ideas/4446). I find it appalling that overwriting cannot be controlled from within a model. Anyway, thanks for letting me cry on your shoulder. I'm off to drown my frustration at the nearest pub. Oh wait, they're all closed...
    – Stu Smith
    Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 23:45
  • You can do it in a Python script. It is odd that it cannot be controlled on a per-model basis. ArcGIS is so inconsistent in so many different ways. Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 23:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.