Rename project items

You can rename most items in a project if the item is writable, you have the appropriate permissions, and the item is not in use in another application or another instance of ArcGIS Pro. If there is a problem renaming an item, a message indicates that the operation was unsuccessful. Different naming restrictions may apply to different item types.

Items that can be renamed fall into the following categories:

  • Items stored in the project file, such as maps, layouts, and reports.
  • Items stored on a local or network computer, such as file geodatabases, toolboxes, folders, and the contents of these items.
  • Remote items such as servers, cloud stores, and databases. For these items, the connection file is renamed.

The following items can't be renamed in ArcGIS Pro or have restrictions:

  • Project files (.aprx) can't be renamed. However, you can save a copy of the current project with a new name.
  • The project home folder, default geodatabase, and default toolbox can't be renamed.
  • Custom style files (.stylx) can't be renamed if they have been added to the project. (They can be renamed through a folder connection if not added to the project.)
  • Tasks can only be renamed in the Task Designer pane.
  • Specific requirements apply to renaming tables in databases.

If an item can't be renamed, the Rename command Rename is normally not available on the item's context menu and the F2 keyboard shortcut does not work.

If you use File Explorer to rename an item in a project, the item is broken and appears with a red exclamation point Click to repair project item when you next open the project. You can click the exclamation point icon and browse to the data source to repair the item.


It is recommended that you do not rename a project's default geodatabase or default toolbox in File Explorer. This not only causes the item to break in ArcGIS Pro but results in the automatic creation of a new default item with the original name. Instead, temporarily change the default geodatabase or change the default toolbox, use ArcGIS Pro to rename the item that you want to rename, and redesignate it as the default item.

Rename an item in a project

Follow these steps to rename an item in a project:

  1. In the Catalog pane, a catalog view or its Contents pane, or a browse dialog box, browse to an item and select it.
  2. Make the item name editable by doing one of the following:
    • Press the F2 key.
    • Click the item.
    • Right-click the item and click Rename Rename.

    The item name is highlighted.

  3. Type a new name and press the Enter key.

    When a catalog view is active, the Rename command Rename is also available on the Catalog tab of the ribbon in the Organize group. In browse dialog boxes, it is available on the Organize drop-down menu.


    The Rename geoprocessing tool may allow you to rename items that can't be renamed by these methods.

Rename favorites

You can rename favorite items or their contents using the same methods you use to rename other items in a project. When you rename an item in the Favorites collection, the corresponding file on disk is also renamed. If the item has been added to the current project, the change is also reflected in the contents list.

Related topics