File geodatabases

A file geodatabase is a collection of files in a folder on disk that can store, query, and manage spatial and nonspatial data. Create a file geodatabase in a project folder or using the Create File Geodatabase geoprocessing tool.


File geodatabases contain system tables that provide geodatabase functionality plus the data you add to the geodatabase. The data you add can be stored in the following types of datasets:

  • Feature classes
  • Feature datasets
  • Mosaic datasets
  • Raster datasets
  • Tables (nonspatial)

Feature classes and tables can contain subtypes and attachments, and you can relate them to one another using relationship classes.

Feature datasets can contain feature classes as well as the following types of datasets:

  • Geometric networks (Read-only in ArcGIS Pro)
  • Network datasets (Requires ArcGIS Network Analyst extension)
  • Parcel fabrics
  • Terrains (Requires ArcGIS 3D Analyst extension)
  • Topologies
  • Trace networks
  • Utility networks

File geodatabases can also contain domains and views, and they can participate in checkout/check-in and one-way replication.

Several clients can access the data in the same file geodatabase simultaneously. However, they cannot edit the same dataset simultaneously.

Data management

The default maximum size of datasets in file geodatabases is 1 TB. You can increase the maximum size to 256 TB for large datasets. This is controlled by a configuration keyword. For more information on size limits, see File geodatabase size and name limits.

You can compress datasets in a file geodatabase to save space, but doing so makes the datasets read-only. If the data in your file geodatabase is edited frequently, consider compacting the file geodatabase to clean up storage and unused space and, thereby reducing the geodatabase size.

To control how other people use the data you send to them in a file geodatabase, you can apply a license to the file geodatabase before you give it to them.

In this topic
  1. Datasets
  2. Data management