Skip To Content

Replace a web layer

You can replace a web layer in your ArcGIS Online portal or ArcGIS Enterprise portal (version 10.6 or later) with another web layer. When you replace a layer, its content is updated. Its service URL and item ID do not change.

At ArcGIS Pro 2.4, vector tile layers are the only web layers that can be replaced. To update other types of web layers, see Overwrite a web layer.

When you replace a web layer, you specify a target layer (the layer to be replaced) and an update layer (the replacement layer). You also specify an archive layer name. When the target layer is replaced, its content is archived in your portal. Optionally, you can replace the item information of the target layer in addition to its content.

Both the target layer and the update layer must be hosted in your portal, and you must be the owner of both layers.

The benefit of the workflow is that it allows you to stage and test the update layer in your portal before you replace the target layer. When the layer is replaced, user access is uninterrupted. The archive layer is available if you need to revert the update.

Illustration of the Replace Web Layer operation
Properties of the target, update, and archive layers are shown before and after replacement.

As the illustration above shows, after the target layer is replaced, the archive layer uses the item ID of the update layer. In essence, the target and update layers have exchanged their content. The portal no longer contains a web layer with the name or service URL of the update layer.

As a best practice, the update and target layers should use the same spatial reference and tiling scheme. They should also have the same layer composition. (If the target layer is composed of multiple layers, the update layer should include the same layers with the same names.) If these conditions aren't met, maps that use the web layer may not draw correctly after the layer is replaced.

Follow the steps below to replace a web layer.

  1. Sign in to ArcGIS Pro.

    Your active portal must be the portal in which the web layers are hosted. You must be signed in with the account that owns the layers.

  2. On the ribbon, click the Share tab. In the Manage group, click Replace Web Layer Replace Web Layer.

    The Geoprocessing pane appears and opens the Replace Web Layer tool.

  3. For Target Layer, enter the service URL or item ID of the layer you want to replace.

    You can browse to the web layer or drag it from the catalog view or Catalog pane to the Target Layer input box. Alternatively, you can copy and paste the layer's service URL or item ID.

  4. Optionally, for Archive Layer Name, replace the default value with a new name.

    The default archive layer name is <target layer>_archive_<timestamp>.

  5. For Update Layer, enter the service URL or item ID of the layer that will replace the target layer.
  6. Optionally check the Replace Item Information box.

    By default, the item information associated with the target layer is not replaced. Check the box to replace it with the update layer item information. The thumbnail image, summary, description, and tags will be replaced. The credits (attribution), terms of use, and package name from which the layer was created will not be replaced.

  7. Click Run.

    When the tool completes, the target layer is replaced by the update layer. The archive layer is stored in the folder location of the update layer.


    In ArcGIS Enterprise, an alternative workflow is to replace the layer from the portal website interface. See Manage hosted tile layers in the ArcGIS Enterprise help.

Related topics