Yesterday I was working in a single mxd all day, performing dozens of calculations and other analysis using multiple tools. A lot of it was trial and error, so when I found the correct combination I would label it as such in the Results window before documenting it in OneNote.

Geoprocessing results

I opened and closed that mxd multiple times, and was able to rerun those tools I had labelled, as expected. When I opened that mxd this morning at work, I found that the tools I had renamed had been reset to their default names - as a result, I've had to trawl through each result until I found the ones I wanted.

What I would like to know is, seeing as the processed tasks persist between sessions as it stored inside the mxd, so even if I open it on a different computer the results are still there, why does it "forget" that I renamed some of them?

  • I would doubt if it actually allows you to do that i.e rename a session and persist the change. It could very well be by design...as this is not the right place to save your work in progress.
    – ujjwalesri
    Jan 24, 2013 at 5:57
  • It is not possible to rename the session, I am referring to if you right click the result in the window, it gives you the option to Rename that particular result. If this does not persist between sessions, then what is the point of having that option there? Jan 24, 2013 at 6:03
  • 4
    Wow, I didn't even know you could rename these. And I right click on these all the time. How did I miss that?
    – Fezter
    Jan 24, 2013 at 6:11
  • Yup...that does seem like a goof-up.
    – ujjwalesri
    Jan 24, 2013 at 6:23
  • 2
    I like to delete the ones that didn't work or gave me unexpected results, thereby decluttering the results window quite nicely for future referencing.
    – ccn
    Jan 24, 2013 at 17:22

2 Answers 2


This looks like a bug to me because Using the Results window says that Rename on the Result shortcut menu ...

Renames the result. The default name is the tool name followed by the time and date.

I would recommend reporting it but in the meantime I would suggest that Copy As Python Snippet might be an alternative and perhaps better way to record results and re-run them later.

As commented by @mattwilkie:

... the bug is still present in 10.3. I logged it with Esri, BUG-000082214 - [Renaming a result in the Results window is not maintained when an MXD is closed and reopened.].

As commented by @user23715:

Bug is still present in ArcMap 10.8.1 and listed as "In Product Plan"

BUG-000082214 being in the Product Plan suggests that it has been assigned to a programmer to work on for the next release. If that work is successful and passes Beta testing then I would expect that it will appear in the next release.


I found a workaround for persistent rename:

  1. Rename a process
  2. Drag to “Shared”
  3. Save mxd

In the Shared container the process retains the tool name, e.g. "Append", but automatically get's a new parent with the wanted label.

Think ahead because once in Shared it can't be renamed again.

Step one, rename the Session result

After close and re-open:

Step 4: after re-open mxd


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