I am trying to run the difference algorithm with points as the input layer and a polygon as the overlay layer. I've tried many different point layers and polygon layers and it keeps giving me the error

GEOS geoprocessing error: difference failed.

It does work with a polygon input layer and a point overlay layer as well as polygons as both input and overlay layers.

This algorithm worked a year ago in a model I built but now it seems to have changed.

Edit I switched to 'extract by location' - disjoint. I am curious why the difference algorithm has changed. The mysteries of QGIS...

  • 1
    See here for possible solutions: gis.stackexchange.com/q/408820/88814
    – Babel
    Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 20:07
  • @Babel thats for a points layer as input AND overlay. I have a polygon as an overlay
    – brink
    Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 20:55
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    Odd if it worked before. I can find similar questions: stackoverflow.com/questions/40818679/…, gis.stackexchange.com/questions/263664/…. Removing something from the interior of a polygon should create a hole, but point has no area so the hole would also have a zero area.
    – user30184
    Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 20:28
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    Polygon minus point cannot work - conceptually: or how should the result look like? This is not a QGIS problem. Only point minus point can work.
    – Babel
    Commented Sep 13, 2021 at 18:15
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    @Taras : one of the famous, all time top answers here on GIS SE!
    – Babel
    Commented Sep 13, 2021 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


The "GEOS geoprocessing error: difference failed" issue with the "Difference" processing algorithm is now fixed in the developer version QGIS 3.27.0-Master starting from the 5a6b76a commit, and will be fixed in the stable versions starting from QGIS 3.26.1 and from QGIS LTR 3.22.10.

See https://github.com/qgis/QGIS/pull/49300.

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