Setting the default geodatabase

Each map document has a default geodatabase, which is the home location for the spatial content of your map. This location is used for adding datasets and for saving resulting datasets created by various editing and geoprocessing operations. For example, when you export features from a layer, the data will be saved in the map's default geodatabase unless specified otherwise. The default geodatabase is synchronized with Current Workspace of Geoprocessing Environments, therefore, all output from tools or models will be saved to this default location.

When you create a new map document, you will be prompted to select a default geodatabase. You can set any of your geodatabases as the default geodatabase, provided you have write access. You may have a shared geodatabase that is stored or managed in a DBMS such as SQL Server or Oracle. By default, a file geodatabase (located in the ArcGIS folder in your user profile) is defined. The default geodatabase can be a file, personal, personal SQL Server, or enterprise (ArcSDE) geodatabase.

Access to the default geodatabase Default Geodatabase is also available as a shortcut on the Add Data and Save As dialog boxes and within the Catalog window, so that you can quickly get back to the map's default geodatabase if you have navigated elsewhere in the system.

Setting the default geodatabase

To set the default geodatabase for your map, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that you have access. If necessary for an ArcSDE geodatabase, establish a database connection. If you want to create a new file geodatabase, you can use the Catalog window to create a new geodatabase that will be your map's default.
  2. Navigate to the desired geodatabase in the tree view and click to highlight it. Right-click the geodatabase to see its shortcut menu and click Make Default Geodatabase.
    Setting a default geodatabase for your map

    The Make Default Geodatabase option is not available on the shortcut menu of geodatabases accessed from the Database Servers node Database Servers Folder in the Catalog window. To use this functionality, connect to these geodatabases from the Database Connections node Database Connection Folder.

You can also set the path to the default geodatabase in the Getting Started dialog box that appears when you start ArcMap:

Setting the default geodatabase in the Getting Started dialog

Accessing the default geodatabase

The default geodatabase can be accessed by clicking the Default Geodatabase button Default Geodatabase in the Catalog window.

The Default Geodatabase button in the Catalog Window

Related Topics

Published 6/7/2010