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Change project settings

Each project has many settings. This topic focuses on settings for the project and how new projects are created in ArcGIS Pro. These settings determine the project's location, if new projects are created in individual folders, the project's home folder, its default geodatabase, and its default toolbox.

Project name and location

When a new project is created on a local or network computer, a project file is created with the file extension .aprx appended to the project name. Once a project has been created, its location can't be changed in ArcGIS Pro—wherever the .aprx file is stored is its location. A project cannot be renamed once it has been created. However, you can save a copy of the existing project file to a new location with a new name.

If at any time you forget which project you are working on, the project's name appears in the title bar of the ArcGIS Pro application. To see where the current project is stored, open the Options dialog box and click the Current tab; the Location text box shows the full path to the project file.

Default location for new projects

By default, new projects are created in the My Documents\ArcGIS\Projects folder in the user profile directory. If you prefer to store projects in another location, you can change this setting for the application by setting its Default folder property. Make sure you have write access to and sufficient disk space in the new location.

Project home folder

A project has a home folder. The project's default geodatabase and default toolbox are created in its home folder. The home folder is also used by ArcGIS Pro as the default location to save new database and server connection files, work in progress, analysis results, exported files, and so on. By default, a project's home folder is the same as the project file's (.aprx) location. A project always includes a folder connection that accesses its home folder; it appears in the Folders category. A project's home folder can't be removed from the project.

Once a project has been created, you can change its home folder to reference another location instead by setting its Home folder property. For example, if a project is stored on a network computer, you may want the project's home folder to reference a folder on the local computer instead. With this change, the project's location is different from the project's home folder.

Create a new folder for each project

By default, a new folder is always created for new projects. The new folder has the same name as the project, and the project file is created inside this folder; it becomes the project's home folder. With the project's essential items stored in a project-specific folder, it is easier to copy or move the project later. When you copy or move the entire folder to another location, connections to items stored in the project-specific folder won't break.

However, if you do not want to create a new folder for each project, you can change this setting for the application by setting its Always create a new folder for a project property.

Default geodatabase

A project has a default geodatabase. The geoprocessing current workspace environment setting refers to the project's default geodatabase by default. When new spatial datasets are produced by geoprocessing tools, they are stored in this location. The default geodatabase is also used when a layer template or another schema-only layer package is added to a map. The new geodatabase items that will store data associated with the layer are created in the default geodatabase.

When you create a new project, by default, a new file geodatabase is created in the project's home folder with the same name as the project, and the project is set to use it as the default geodatabase. A project always includes a reference to its default database; this project item appears in the Databases category. A project's default geodatabase can't be removed from the project.

You can configure the project to use another existing geodatabase instead, provided that you have write access to it. Do this by setting the project's Default geodatabase property. If you want all new projects to use the same geodatabase as the default geodatabase, change this setting for the application instead.

Default toolbox

A project has a default geoprocessing toolbox. New models are stored in the project's default toolbox.

When you create a new project, by default, a new toolbox is created in the project's home folder with the same name as the project, and the project is set to use it as the default toolbox. A project always includes a reference to its default toolbox; this project item appears in the Toolboxes category. A project's default toolbox can't be removed from the project.

You can configure the project to use another existing toolbox instead, provided that you have write access to it. Do this by setting the project's Default toolbox property. If you want all new projects to use the same toolbox as the default toolbox, change this setting for the application instead. Any type of toolbox that ArcGIS Pro can access can be used as the default.

Change a project's settings

After creating and working with a project, you might want to adjust some of its properties to better suit your workflow. You may want to create a new geodatabase or toolbox in the desired location before following the steps below if you want to change the project's default geodatabase or default toolbox settings.

  1. Open the project whose settings you want to change.
  2. Click the Project tab on the ribbon and click Options.

    The Options dialog box appears.

  3. Under the Project heading, click the Current tab.
  4. To change the project's Home folder, browse to or type the location of an existing folder where you have write access and sufficient storage space for new data and items that will be created to support this project.
  5. To change the project's Default geodatabase, browse to or type the location of the existing geodatabase that should be used as the new default geodatabase.
  6. To change the project's Default toolbox, browse to or type the location of the existing toolbox that should be used as the new default toolbox.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Click the Back button to return to your project.

The new settings take effect immediately as you continue working with the project. Items are added to the project to access the new home folder, default geodatabase, or default toolbox, as appropriate. Connections to the previous home folder, default geodatabase, and default toolbox continue to be present in the project. You can remove these items if they are no longer needed.

Tip:

If your project already contains a folder, geodatabase, or toolbox that you want to use as the project's new home folder, default geodatabase, or default toolbox, right-click the item in the Catalog pane, and click Make Default.

Change how new projects are created

To change how all new projects are created, change the ArcGIS Pro application's default settings for creating new projects. You may want to create a new geodatabase, toolbox, or folder in the desired location before following the steps below if you want to change the default geodatabase, default toolbox, or default location settings that will be used when new projects are created. Changing these settings does not affect the current project if one is open, or any other existing projects.

  1. Open the Options dialog box.
    • If a project is currently open, click the Project tab on the ribbon and click Options.
    • Start ArcGIS Pro and click About ArcGIS Pro at the bottom of the start page.

    The Options dialog box appears.

  2. Under the Application heading, click the General tab.
  3. Change if a new folder will be created for each project.
    • Check the Always create a new folder for the project check box if each project should be created and stored in a separate folder.
    • Uncheck the Always create a new folder for the project check box if each project should be created and stored in the same folder.
  4. Change the application's Default geodatabase setting.
    • Click Create a new default file geodatabase for each project to use a separate default geodatabase for each project.
    • Click Use the same geodatabase as the default for all projects to use the same geodatabase as the default geodatabase for all new projects. Browse to or type the location of the existing geodatabase that should be used as the new default geodatabase.
  5. Change the application's Default toolbox setting.
    • Click Create a new default toolbox for each project to use a separate default toolbox for each project.
    • Click Use the same toolbox as the default for all projects to use the same toolbox as the default toolbox for all new projects. Browse to or type the location of the existing toolbox that should be used as the new default toolbox.
  6. Change the application's Default folder setting.
    • Click Create new projects in the default location to create new projects in the default location, My Documents\ArcGIS\Projects in the user profile directory.
    • Click Create new projects in another local or network folder to create new projects in another existing folder on a local or network computer where you have write access and sufficient storage space for many new projects and the items and data associated with them.
  7. Click OK.

The next time you create a new project, the Location text box in the Create a New Project dialog box shows the location associated with the Default folder setting. Also, the Create a new folder for this project check box will be checked or unchecked as specified by the Always create a new folder for the project setting.

When the new project is created, its default geodatabase and default toolbox will be set appropriately based on the Default geodatabase and Default toolbox settings. Connections to the appropriate database and toolbox will be included in the project, along with the appropriate home folder connection.

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