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Delete Field


Deletes one or more fields from a table, feature class, feature layer, or raster dataset.


  • Fields cannot be deleted from nonnative, read-only data formats in ArcGIS, such as VPF and CAD datasets.


DeleteField_management (in_table, drop_field)
ParameterExplanationData Type

The table containing the fields to be deleted. The existing input table will be modified.

Mosaic Layer; Raster Layer; Table View

The fields to be dropped from the input table. Only nonrequired fields may be deleted.


Code sample

DeleteField example (Python window)

The following Python window script demonstrates how to use the DeleteField tool in immediate mode:

import arcpy
arcpy.env.workspace = "C:/data"
arcpy.CopyFeatures_management("majorrds.shp", "C:/output/majorrds_copy.shp")
                             ["STREET_NAM", "LABEL", "CLASS"])
DeleteField example 2 (stand-alone script)

The following stand-alone script demonstrates how to use the DeleteField tool:

# Name:
# Description: Delete several fields from a feature class
# Import system modules
import arcpy
# Set environment settings
arcpy.env.workspace = "C:/data"
# Set local variables
inFeatures = "accident.dbf"
outFeatureClass = "C:/output/new_accident.dbf"
dropFields = ["STREET_NAM", "LABEL", "CLASS"]
# Execute CopyFeatures to make a new copy of the feature class
#  Use CopyRows if you have a table
arcpy.CopyFeatures_management(inFeatures, outFeatureClass)
# Execute DeleteField
arcpy.DeleteField_management(outFeatureClass, dropFields)
DeleteField example 3 (stand-alone script)

Use DeleteField to clear all unnecessary fields from a feature class or table.

# Name:
# Description: Delete unrequired fields from a feature class or table.
# Import system modules
import arcpy
    # Get user-supplied input and output arguments
    inTable = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(0)
    updatedTable = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(1)
    # Describe the input (need to test the dataset and data types)
    desc = arcpy.Describe(updatedTable)
    # Make a copy of the input (so we can mantain the original as is)
    if desc.datasetType == "FeatureClass":
        arcpy.CopyFeatures_management(inTable, updatedTable)
        arcpy.CopyRows_management(inTable, updatedTable)
    # Use ListFields to get a list of field objects
    fieldObjList = arcpy.ListFields(updatedTable)
    # Create an empty list that will be populated with field names        
    fieldNameList = []
    # For each field in the object list, add the field name to the
    #  name list.  If the field is required, exclude it, to prevent errors
    for field in fieldObjList:
        if not field.required:
    # dBASE tables require a field other than an OID and Shape.  If this is
    #  the case, retain an extra field (the first one in the original list)
    if desc.dataType in ["ShapeFile", "DbaseTable"]:
        fieldNameList = fieldNameList[1:]
    # Execute DeleteField to delete all fields in the field list. 
    arcpy.DeleteField_management(updatedTable, fieldNameList)
except Exception as err:


Licensing information

  • ArcGIS Desktop Basic: Yes
  • ArcGIS Desktop Standard: Yes
  • ArcGIS Desktop Advanced: Yes

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