I have a tool that I created from a Python script which I update from time to time. Usually I will right-click the tool and choose Import Script, but lately this has been unavailable, as shown below:

enter image description here

This has been happening to almost all the tools I create, usually after a few imports. The problem is that if the script is cached the only workaround is to create a whole new interface, which can be pretty time-consuming. Does anyone know why this happens?

I found this post on the Esri forums describing the same problem: http://forums.arcgis.com/threads/70829-Python-Import-Script-grayed-out


  • 1
    Is the script for ArcGIS Desktop or Server and is it currently running?
    – Mintx
    Dec 3, 2012 at 19:06
  • It's for Desktop (10.1 SP1) and not currently running.
    – serverpunk
    Dec 3, 2012 at 19:17
  • 4
    Do you have a strong need to import the script into the tools cache? Why not just allow the ArcGIS script tool to point to the script (on disk) itself. Unless it is for portability or to "hide" the script from a user, there is no need to "Import Script"... Dec 3, 2012 at 21:16
  • 2
    I've never seen Python scripts get cached using the method @RyanDalton suggests so would recommend using that rather than Import Script which seems to be for Embedding scripts and password protecting tools
    – PolyGeo
    Dec 4, 2012 at 3:11
  • 1
    I rebuilt the tool without importing and it seems to be working better, so maybe that is the way to go. Thanks guys. I still don't understand though what would make the Import Script option disappear like that (suppose I did need to embed the script, for example). Anyone from Esri listening? :)
    – serverpunk
    Dec 4, 2012 at 19:06

3 Answers 3


The question has been answered in Geonet:

you need to export script and then you gonna be able to add a new script... Don't overwrite the script you want to import.



In your Comment you ask if anyone from Esri is listening.

Although a number of Esri staff are regular users of this site, I suspect each will be focussed on their own area(s) of expertise.

Consequently, if this issue is still of concern to you then I think that you should submit this to your local Esri Support. However, before doing that I recommend that you try to have it in a reproducible form.


little late but here's what you gotta do: in folder explorer: right click tool in question select export export script from context menu go to properties of the the toolbox script that you exported / source tab: point to the script file that you want it to reference. select: ok right click - edit script/context menu - now you see the script file that you want associated with this tool and you can execute it through arc***(****) would provide screen shots but don't have a public account with enough 'points'

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