Change the maximum legend items allowed to display for an ArcGIS Server map service layer in ArcMap

Last Published: April 25, 2020


Due to the limitations of Graphical Device Interface (GDI) resources per application on Windows, ArcMap does not display the legend on the Table of Contents for the ArcGIS Server service layer if it has more than 100 legend items. Therefore, it also does not display on the layout. Instructions provided describe how to display a layer that contains more than 100 legend items.

The instructions below include making changes to essential parts of your operating system. It is recommended that you backup your operating system and files, including the registry, before proceeding. Consult with a qualified computer systems professional, if necessary. ESRI cannot guarantee results from incorrect modifications while following these instructions. Therefore, use caution and proceed at your own risk.


To change the maximum legend items allowed for display in ArcMap, follow the steps below:

  1. Click Start > Run. Type regedit, and click OK to open the Windows Registry Editor.
  2. Navigate to the MapServerLayer registry key:
    • ArcGIS 9.3.x: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ESRI\MapServerLayer
    • ArcGIS 10.0: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ESRI\Desktop10.0\ArcMap\Server\MapServerLayer
    • ArcGIS 10.x: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ESRI\Desktop10.x\ArcMap\Server\MapServerLayer
  3. Double-click Maximum Legend Count in the right panel.
  4. Click the Decimal radio button.
  5. Type the desired number of legend items in the Value data text box.
  6. Click OK and close Registry Editor.
  7. Open ArcMap.
  8. Add the layer.

Article ID:000009597

  • ArcMap

Get help from ArcGIS experts

Contact technical support

Download the Esri Support App

Go to download options

Discover more on this topic