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Grouping in a model allows you to assemble processes into logical units. These groups can be collapsed to maximize visual space or expanded to edit the processes within the group.

Creating groups

There are two ways to create a group.

  • You can click the Group > Group button on the ModelBuilder ribbon tab. This adds an empty group to the model. To add elements, drag and drop existing model elements into the group.
    Drag and Drop elements into a group
  • You can also select the existing model elements and click the Group > Group button on the ribbon or from the context menu.
    Select model elements and group

You can create groups within groups. To add a new empty subgroup to an existing group, right-click the expanded group and click the Create Group button. To select model elements within an existing group, click Create Group.

Group properties

  • All groups can be expanded to edit processes within the group. All groups can be collapsed to increase visual space for working with other model elements.
  • Groups turn red when the processes inside the group are running and get a drop shadow after all the processes in the group have run successfully. If a process inside the tool fails, the group will remain red until validated and the model with a failed model with red color can be saved in its current state.

Auto Layout

To arrange the element layout in the group, right-click the group and click Auto Layout. The View > Auto Layout button on the ribbon applies to the entire model, which may or may not include the groups. The elements inside groups will not be auto arranged with the View > Auto Layout button.


It is recommended that you use discretion when creating groups; for example, grouping all inputs into one group would not be the best practice. When such a group is collapsed it would be visually hard to understand the connected processes without expanding the group. The groups should follow a logical grouping of processes with its connected inputs and outputs.

Currently, you cannot add an iterator to the group. If you want to iterate, you can do so by creating submodels.

Create Group

To create a new group inside of an existing group, click the expanded group and click Create Group.


To rename a group, right-click the expanded or the collapsed group and click Rename. You can also double-click the group label to start in-place editing on the group.


Select the group or the subgroup and click the Group > UnGroup button on the ribbon or from right-click the context menu of the group. This will remove the group and place the elements in the parent model or group. To remove individual items, select and drag the element out of the group.

Save As Model

To save a group as a new model on the disk, right-click the group and click Save As Model. This will open the browse dialog box to browse and save the group as a new model.