Intermediate data

When a model is run, output data is created for each process in the model (unless the process only modifies or passes the input directly). Some outputs created by the intermediate tools are only needed for generating the final output, and have no use after the model has completed. For effective data management, these intermediate outputs can be set as model Intermediate Data and be deleted altogether.

By default, intermediate outputs in a model are considered intermediate data. To preserve intermediate data, right-click an output variable and uncheck the Intermediate Data option.

Intermediate data is processed differently based on how the model is executed.

  • When a model is run from the Geoprocessing pane, the outputs marked as Intermediate Data are deleted automatically.
  • When a model is run within ModelBuilder, the outputs marked as Intermediate Data are deleted by clicking the Intermediate button on the ModelBuilder ribbon.

Outputs cannot be set as intermediate data in the following cases:

  • When an output is model terminal outputs.
  • When an output is set as a model parameter.
  • When an output is derived. Tools with derived outputs do not create a new dataset, but instead modify or directly pass the inputs, for example, the Add Field or Apply Symbology From Layer tool.
  • When an output is connected to a tool that passes the input directly, for example, tool outputs that are connected to the Collect Values or Select Data tool.