I am using the MMQGIS plugin to join sets of data on QGIS. I have been failing to do this for days on account of the output file location being rejected. This error message appears: Failure creating output file: Creation of data source failed (OGR error: C:\Users\cavca-admin\Documents\imd.shp is not a directory.)

It obviously suggests that I need to be choosing a directory as the output file location but I am unable to do this because it isn't valid. I have tried saving all relevant files in the one directory and choosing a range of file locations but nothing has worked.

  • It's a really bad error message from GDAL/OGR and actually means the file md.shp already exists and needs to be manually deleted before running the plugin again.
    – user2856
    Feb 24, 2021 at 3:26
  • Message is bad in this context but if md.shp was a directory then GDAL/OGR would create the output shapefile inside that directory. Perhaps the message could be longer ...is not a directory where new layers could be added.
    – user30184
    Feb 24, 2021 at 6:50

1 Answer 1


I had the same issues and what fixed it for me was exporting to .geojson format rather than .shp. I am not using .shp otherwise and am not subscribed to any ArcGIS services, so I figured there could be an incompatibility there. However, I cannot explain it technically.

.shp is a proprietary but open file format, so it should work for all of us.

But I am much happier with the GeoJSON layers I have now.

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