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Layers fail to draw when attempting to add a shapefile to ArcMap

Description

When attempting to add a shapefile to ArcMap, the layer fails to draw and the following error is returned:

Error:   
 "One or more layers failed to draw. There was a problem drawing the shapefile. Drawing aborted."
This is a generic error. There are several reasons associated with this issue. Refer to the Related Information section for more information and other causes for this error.

Cause

This issue occurs when:

  • The data file is corrupted
  • The shapefile is in a ZIP file and is not extracted

Solution or Workaround

Below are some ways to resolve this issue.

Ensure the existing file is not corrupted.

  1. Use the Check Geometry tool to identify the geometry issues: ArcToolbox > Data Management Tools > Features > Check Geometry. For more information, refer to the following link: Check Geometry.
  2. Use the Repair Geometry tool to fix the issues identified in the Check Geometry toolArcToolbox > Data Management Tools > Features > Repair Geometry. For more information, refer to the following link: Repair Geometry.
Alternatively, export the data from the Catalog window instead of dragging the data to the data frame. For more information, refer to the following link: Exporting features.
If using a ZIP file as the input shapefile, ensure the ZIP file is extracted before adding the shapefile. For more information, refer to the following link: Choosing an export file type.

Related Information

ArcGIS Web Help: Check Geometry
ArcGIS Web Help: Repair Geometry
ArcGIS Web Help: Exporting features
Knowledge Base Article: Error: One or more layers failed to draw
Knowledge Base Article: Error: One or more layers failed to draw: General Function Failure [Feature Class] Syntax error in query expression...