Upgrade a file geodatabase

The goal of upgrading a geodatabase is to update the geodatabase system tables to take advantage of functionality that is available in the latest release of ArcGIS. If your geodatabase was created using a version earlier than ArcGIS 10, it may need to be upgraded. Upgrading a file geodatabase is optional in most cases; however, access to newer functionality will be limited until this has been completed.

You can use the Upgrade Geodatabase geoprocessing tool or a Python script to upgrade a file geodatabase. The tool can be opened from the Database Properties dialog box in ArcGIS Pro or from the Data Management toolbox.

  • Upgrades from beta versions of the geodatabase are not supported.
  • There is no formal mechanism to downgrade a geodatabase to a previous version. If after upgrading to a newer version you decide you need the older version of the geodatabase, use the backup copy of the old geodatabase that you created.

Follow these steps to upgrade a 9.3.1 or earlier release file geodatabase from ArcGIS Pro:

  1. Start ArcGIS Pro and open the Catalog pane.
  2. Connect to the folder that contains the file geodatabase you want to upgrade.
  3. If you do not already have a backup of your data, make a backup copy of the geodatabase before proceeding.
    1. Right-click the geodatabase and click Copy.
    2. Right-click the folder into which you want to place the backup and click Paste.

      A backup copy of the geodatabase allows you to revert to the previous version of the geodatabase if needed.


      If you paste the copy into the same folder as the original, the name of the copy will have _1 appended to it.

  4. Right-click the geodatabase to upgrade and click Properties to open the Database Properties dialog box.
  5. On the Database Properties dialog box, on the General tab, expand the Upgrade Status section.

    If an upgrade is possible, the Run Upgrade button is active.

  6. Leave both the Perform Pre-requisite check and Upgrade geodatabase options checked and click Run Upgrade.

    A dialog box appears showing the process of the prerequisite check and upgrade. If there are any errors in the process, they will appear on this dialog box and the GDBUpgrade<n>.log, which can be found in the system TEMP directory.

    The tool checks to be sure the geodatabase is read-only, that there are no other users connected to the geodatabase, and that all datasets can be opened. If the geodatabase meets these requirements, the tool proceeds with the upgrade. If the geodatabase does not meet the requirements, the tool terminates, and you must correct the prerequisite problems before you run the Upgrade Geodatabase tool again.

  7. When the upgrade operation completes successfully, click OK to close the dialog box.

    The geodatabase is now upgraded.

If your geodatabase contains datasets that require upgrading—such as network datasets or parcel fabrics—you must upgrade them separately. These dataset upgrades are optional; however, if you do not upgrade them, you will not have access to the latest functionality in the dataset.