Do you have references to best practice, or examples where you have recovered Models or can you share your expertise on how to avoid the "Unable to save model" error within ModelBuilder using ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop?

Alternatively can you advise on situations to avoid which cause this error to occur.

There is very little help information on this topic.

There is a linked question here Do you use a proven workflow to edit and document ArcGIS ModelBuilder models? - that shares advice on how to track the building of models, so you always have a clean copy of the model to go back to. Comment there if you have comments about the process of tracking edits / changes to Models.

2 Answers 2


I don't have an answer to avoid this issue but my typical solution is to backup the model occasionally. The "failed to save" error just happened to me. It is frustrating to say the least. If you don't have a backup, you lose everything. When you open the model later it is completely empty.

I brought this problem up at the UC a couple years ago to one of the model builder reps from ESRI, but he had never heard of it. I know of at least 4 other people in my office that have had this happen. It seems to occur when my model gets fairly large.


There was a discussion thread about this on ESRI’s GeoNet, but it blamed all of the problems on network shares created in Windows 7 or earlier.

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