How Upgrade Geodatabase works

The Upgrade Geodatabase tool updates geodatabase objects in databases to include fixes and new functionality, increments the geodatabase version based on the ArcGIS client version that's running the tool or ArcPy script, and analyzes the geodatabase for branch version inconsistencies and reports results in a log file.

Database connection file

The database connection file (.sde) that you provide as the value for the Input Geodatabase parameter must access the geodatabase as the geodatabase administrator:

  • If the geodatabase administrator account is a database user, save the username and password of that user in the database connection file before using it in the Upgrade Geodatabase tool.
  • If the geodatabase administrator is an operating system authenticated login, you must run the tool while logged in to the ArcGIS client machine with that login.
  • To upgrade a geodatabase in Microsoft Azure SQL Database or Microsoft Azure SQL Managed Instance that uses Microsoft Entra ID authentication, one of the following is required for the connection file:
    • To use a Microsoft Entra Password authenticated geodatabase administrator account or Microsoft Entra multifactor authentication (MFA) geodatabase administrator account, save the username and password with the connection file.
    • To use a Microsoft Entra Integrated authenticated geodatabase administrator account, you must run the tool while logged in to the ArcGIS client machine with that Entra Integrated login.

Perform Pre-Requisite Check parameter

The prerequisite check detects other active connections to the geodatabase, determines whether the current connection is editing in the geodatabase, and ensures that the current geodatabase system tables can be opened. For enterprise geodatabases, it also determines whether the connecting user has sufficient privileges to upgrade the geodatabase, ensures that the database can support XML columns, and confirms that the database and libraries are at the same release.

The results of this check are reported on the tool dialog box.

If any prerequisites are not met, the tool does not proceed with upgrading, even if you checked the Upgrade Geodatabase parameter. You must correct any problems before you run the upgrade procedure again.

If you check both the Perform Pre-Requisite Check parameter and the Upgrade Geodatabase parameter and all prerequisites listed above are met, the Upgrade Geodatabase tool proceeds with upgrading the geodatabase.

Upgrade Geodatabase parameter

Checking the Upgrade Geodatabase parameter updates geodatabase objects as required to implement fixes and new functionality in the geodatabase. It also increments the geodatabase version number in one of the geodatabase system tables.


The geodatabase administrator can access the geodatabase version number for enterprise geodatabases on the Database Properties dialog box.

Additionally, checking the Upgrade Geodatabase parameter analyzes enterprise geodatabases for branch versioned data inconsistencies as described below.

Upgrades for geodatabases that contain branch versioned data

When you upgrade an enterprise geodatabase that contains branch versioned data, the Upgrade Geodatabase tool checks for inconsistencies in the branch versions and branch versioned data. It may create recovery versions to access the affected data. As the geodatabase administrator, you must use these branch versions to review and correct inconsistencies. The Upgrade Geodatabase tool creates branch versions with names in the format RECOVERY_VERSION_BR_<branch_id>.

Information about the versions that are created and the data associated with them is written to the sde_setup.log file. Review this file to determine the versions you need to review to accept or reject changes, reconcile with the default version, and post changes from the recovery versions to the default version. See the next section for the location of this file.

For instructions on how to use these versions, see the How To: Review branch recovery versions after upgrading an enterprise geodatabase technical article.

Log files and troubleshooting

If the prerequisite check or upgrade fails, results are written to the GDBUpgrade.log file in the c:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Local\ESRI\<ArcGIS product> directory.

Additional information is written to the sde_setup.log file in your user TEMP directory. If your user does not have a temp directory configured, the system TEMP directory is used.