I was wondering for a time what Duplicate a layer in QGIS actually does. Reading this question: Duplicating layers in QGIS 3.4 I was assuming that when duplicating a layer I could style each individually, however if:

"Changes to the base data (the shapefile) will be present in all instances of that data."

Yet I do not see this behaviour. I created a simple polygon, saved it, duplicated it. I then changed the original polygon layer. While the baselayer obviously chaged, the duplicated layer did not. Am I missing something?

  • 1
    Probably you're missing something, yes.
    – Erik
    Apr 11, 2022 at 8:59
  • 3
    The way your question is phrased made unclear what you mean when you said "I then changed the original polygon layer" Did you mean you changed the symbology (as the beginning of your question seem to imply) or did you mean you updated the data (attribute or geometry) ? If you updated the data what did you change ?
    – J.R
    Apr 11, 2022 at 13:23
  • Thank you all! I think I simply missed something. There is even a big banner stating that it is using the same datasource when duplicating... Sorry about that. I'll delete the question
    – Lenn
    Apr 11, 2022 at 14:40
  • I agree with you @Lenn. When I add new fields to the base layer, even after refreshing, the duplicated layers do not update with the new fields.
    – Selma
    Jan 27 at 8:54

1 Answer 1


You won't see any change in the duplicated layer until you pan or zoom. Another reason you may not be seeing the new features, is that the symbology of the duplicated layer does not include a symbol for the data in the new feature.

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