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Iterate Files


Iterates over files in a folder.

Learn how Iterate Files works in ModelBuilder


  • This tool is intended for use in ModelBuilder and not in Python scripting.

  • The File Extension option allows you to iterate over files with a particular extension. For example, if you only want files with the extension of .log to be iterated, set the File Extension parameter to log.

  • If the file appears as a dataset in the Catalog pane, then Iterate Files will skip the file. The most common examples are shape files, .dbf files, raster files (.jpg, .tif, .img, .png, and .bmp), CAD files (.dxf and .dwg) and map files (.mxd, .aprx).

  • The tool has two outputs: Output File and Name which could be used as an inline variable (for example, %Name%) in other tools.

  • Specify the file extension in the optional parameter for extensions, such as txt, pdf, zip, and so on. For example, if the tool iterates over text files and the output is used in tools, such as ASCII To Raster tool, specify the extension txt in the optional file extension parameter.

  • Most tools honor the output file format from the Iterate Files tool except tools such as Copy, which requires you to define the file extension in the output name. For example, If you are using the Iterate Files tool to iterate zip files for use as input to the Copy tool, the output name must contain the extension or


IterateFiles_mb (in_folder, {wildcard}, {extension}, {recursive})
ParameterExplanationData Type

Folder in which the input files are located.


Combination of * and characters that help to limit the results. The asterisk is the same as saying ALL. If no wildcard is specified, all inputs will be returned. For example, it can be used to restrict Iteration over input names starting with a certain character or word (e.g., A* or Ari* or Land*,and so on).


The file extension, such as TXT, ZIP, and so on. Only files with the extension will be iterated. Do not use a period before the file extension.


Determines if all subfolders of the main folder will be recursively iterated through.

  • Checked—Will iterate through all subfolders.
  • Unchecked—Will not iterate through all subfolders.


This tool does not use any geoprocessing environments.

Licensing information

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