Saving network analysis layers

When an ArcMap document that contains a network analysis layer is saved and closed, the network analysis layer is stored in the document. If you keep and reuse the same ArcMap document, you don't need to save the network analysis layer separately.

You might, however, want to separately save specific network analysis classes from a network analysis layer. You can export the in-memory feature classes and tables of the analysis layer to feature classes and tables on disk. To do this in ArcMap, right-click the sublayer in the table of contents and choose Data > Export Data. To do this in ArcCatalog, use the Copy Features tool.

Alternatively, the entire network analysis layer can be saved to an LYR file that functions differently from other LYR files. Network analysis layer LYR files contain the serialized in-memory feature classes referenced by the network analysis sublayers. This means the data from the tables and feature classes are stored in the LYR file. LYR files created from typical feature layers only store references to data rather than the data itself.


The LYR file for a network analysis layer only stores a reference to the network dataset; the network is not stored in the LYR file. As long as the reference to the network dataset is maintained, the LYR file can be added to other map documents where it can be modified and solved.

The following set of steps demonstrates how to save a network analysis layer as an LYR file.

  1. Right-click the name of the network analysis layer in the ArcMap table of contents and choose Save As Layer File.

    The Save Layer dialog box opens.

  2. Choose a workspace location in which to save the LYR file.
  3. Optionally, modify the name of the output LYR file.
  4. Click OK.

    The LYR file is saved to disk.

  5. If you add the LYR file to ArcMap, the network dataset doesn't need to be added too; however, a link to the dataset must be maintained.

    If the link is broken, the name of the LYR file in the table of contents will be followed by a red exclamation point. To fix it, double-click the name of the LYR file in the table of contents to open the Layer Properties dialog box. Under the Source tab, click Set Network Dataset and locate the network dataset that was used to create the LYR file.