Overwrite a web feature layer

In addition to publishing new web feature layers, you can use ArcGIS Pro to overwrite existing web feature layers to reflect changes to a GIS resource or its source data. You can also modify the item description and configuration settings.

You can overwrite an existing web feature layer if all of the following are true:

  • You are signed in as the owner of the web feature layer being overwritten or as an administrator.
  • The location of the existing web feature layer in your portal has not changed while the Overwrite Web Layer pane is open.
  • The web feature layer being overwritten was not published from data in a cloud data warehouse.

While in the process of overwriting a web feature layer, you may decide to save a service definition instead. A service definition compiles information into a single file, allowing you to overwrite the web feature layer at a later time. Information about saving a service definition is included in the workflow below. To learn more, see Introduction to saving service definitions.

You can also use ArcPy to overwrite a web feature layer to a portal. To learn more, see Automate sharing web layers.

If you want to update the appearance of an existing web feature layer such as its symbology, pop-ups, or labels, but don’t need to change its source data or configuration, you can save the web layer instead. For more information, see Save a web feature layer.

Considerations when overwriting web layers

The existing web layer, including pop-ups and symbology, is always overwritten with what is authored in ArcGIS Pro. If you overwrite a web layer, its associated data is replaced. Changes to the pop-ups or symbology, or any other updates to the web layer after it was initially published, are lost. When overwriting a web layer, the schema of the new layer you are publishing can differ from the schema of the existing web layer if the new layer has different field names, deleted fields, or new fields.

Web maps store pop-ups and symbology separately from web layers. Pop-ups stored in the web map will not be updated if the web layer is overwritten with a newly configured pop-up. If the schema of a web layer changes, you may need to reconfigure your web map's pop-ups and symbology.

For example, you shared a web layer of United States cities and authored a web map that symbolizes the layer using the name field. When you overwrite the existing web layer with a new web layer with the name field renamed to city, the web map still tries to symbolize the layer using the old name field, even though it no longer exists. You must reconfigure the symbology using city as the new field.


Before overwriting a web layer, verify that the IDs assigned to layers and tables in your map match existing service sublayer IDs. Otherwise, overwriting may break web maps consuming the service. For more information, see Assign layer IDs.

Overwrite a web feature layer

To overwrite a web feature layer that references registered data, overwrite its associated map image layer.

  1. To overwrite a web layer, do one of the following:
    • Overwrite an existing web layer with all usable layers in the map. On the Share tab, in the Share As group, click the Web Layer drop-down arrow and click Overwrite Web Layer Overwrite Web Layer.
    • Overwrite an existing web layer with selected layers in the map. Select the layers in the Contents pane. Right-click the selected layers, point to Sharing, and click Overwrite Web Layer Overwrite Web Layer.

    The Overwrite Web Layer dialog box appears.

  2. On the Overwrite Web Layer dialog box, browse to the location of the web layer in your portal, select it, and click OK.
  3. Read the Overwrite Web Layer message and click OK to continue.

    If online edits were made to the web layer, or if features were appended to it, these changes will be overwritten.

    The Overwrite Web Layer pane appears. On the General tab, under Item Details, the name of the web layer is displayed. The name can't be changed.

  4. Under the layer name, choose one of the following options:

    Use the item description from the web layer

    The item description of the existing web layer is preserved. This is the default option.

    Use the item description from the map or layer

    The item description of the existing web layer is overwritten with the metadata of the map or layer.

  5. Optionally, modify the information in the Summary and Tags fields.

    The fields may be empty if you chose to use the item description from the map or layer in the previous step. A summary and tags are required when sharing to an ArcGIS Enterprise 10.9 or earlier portal.

    You can enter a maximum of 128 tags.

  6. Optionally, under Share with, change the settings:
    • Everyone—This option makes your content public. Anyone can access and see it.
    • My Organization—If you are signed in with an organizational account, you see this option. This option allows your content to be shared with all authenticated users in the organization.
    • Groups—You can share your content with groups to which you belong and their members.

    Leave all options unchecked to set the sharing level to the owner of the item.

    If you are the owner of the existing web feature layer, you can modify the group sharing settings.
  7. Optionally, click the Configuration tab and change settings.

    For more information about configuring the web layer, see Configure a web feature layer.


    WFS layers are not supported when overwriting web feature layers. Overwriting a web feature layer that has an associated WFS layer breaks the WFS layer. In this case, delete and re-create the WFS layer from the item details page of the web feature layer.

  8. Optionally, click the Content tab to view the folder, new web layers, and sublayers with assigned IDs if available.

    If you enabled the Allow assignment of unique numeric IDs for sharing web layers option on the Map Properties dialog box, assigned IDs appear for each sublayer. To change an ID, click the number next to the layer or table. On the Layer Properties or Standalone Table Properties dialog box, on the General tab, type a custom integer ID in the Layer ID or Table ID text box. For more information, see Assign layer IDs.

  9. Under Finish Sharing, click Analyze Identify potential performance bottlenecks and errors to review for potential problems.

    Errors and warnings are listed on the Messages tab. Right-click a message to open its help topic or take corrective action in the software. Errors Error must be resolved before you can share your GIS resource. Resolving warnings Warning is recommended but not required.

    Learn more about analyzing GIS resources

  10. After you have resolved errors, and optionally, resolved warnings, click Publish Publish to share the web layer.

    To save a service definition for the web layer instead, click the Publish drop-down arrow and click Save As SD.


    Publishing a service definition staged to overwrite will automatically replace the existing web layer if found on the server. To avoid unintentionally overwriting existing web layers and their associated data, store these service definitions in a way that makes them distinguishable from other service definitions.

  11. Optionally, click Jobs Open Job Status Pane to monitor the job status.
  12. When the layer is successfully published, click the Manage the web layer link at the bottom of the pane to access the web layer in your portal.
  13. If necessary, sign in to your portal to open the item page for the web layer, and open the layer in Map Viewer or use the Data and Visualization tabs on the item page to confirm that the web layer has been overwritten.

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