Move or copy a mosaic dataset

The easiest way to move a mosaic dataset is by creating a copy in the desired location. After you verify that the mosaic dataset was copied correctly, and it performs correctly, you can delete the original.

There are several methods you can use to create a copy of a mosaic dataset:

  • Use the copy capability in the Catalog pane.
  • Use the Copy tool.
  • Drag a mosaic dataset from one geodatabase to another geodatabase.

    This method doesn't move the dataset.

These methods copy all the contents in the mosaic dataset to the new location, including the footprints, the boundary, attribute tables, and other content. By default, the overviews and the cache (used with lidar data) are created outside the mosaic dataset's file geodatabase and are not copied along with the mosaic dataset.

If you copy a mosaic dataset that is stored in an enterprise geodatabase, and the overviews were stored in the default location (in the enterprise geodatabase), the overviews are moved along with the mosaic dataset.


Do not use the Copy Raster tool to copy a mosaic dataset. If you do, all of the individual layers in the mosaic will be combined into a single raster layer output.

Update paths in the mosaic dataset

Since mosaic datasets contain references to their source data, the overviews, and the cache, these paths are not altered by the copy operation.

If the paths to the source images change when you move or copy the mosaic dataset, or you move the location of the source imagery, you must update the paths. Use the Repair Mosaic Dataset Paths tool to update the paths to the source images.

If the overviews were created in the default location, next to the geodatabase folder, and they are moved to the same default location, you do not need to update the paths. If the overviews remain in the same location and are accessible to the mosaic dataset, you do not need to update the paths. If the mosaic dataset cannot access the overviews, or the overviews were moved, you must update the paths to the overviews.

If you have lidar data in the mosaic dataset, a cache was likely generated. The cache will regenerate if it doesn't exist in the expected location or it is out of date. If you move the cache and you want to continue to use it, you must update the path in the mosaic dataset.

For more information, see Repairing paths in a mosaic dataset.

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