Each grid size must be at least three times larger than the preceding grid size

Last Published: April 25, 2020

Error Message

When running a geoprocessing tool to create an output feature class, the tool creates a spatial index according to the features in the new feature class. Geodatabases that use grid-based spatial indexes include file geodatabases, personal geodatabases, and some enterprise geodatabases.

A grid-based spatial index must obey the following rule: if more than one grid is used, each successive grid must be set at least three times larger than the preceding grid size. For more information on spatial index grids, refer to the following ArcGIS Web Help page: Output Spatial Grid 1, 2, 3 (Environment setting).

If the rule is violated, the following error message displays:

Each grid size must be at least three times larger than the preceding grid size.
An image of the error message.


The error occurs due to the following reasons:

  • The Output Spatial Grid parameter setting in Environment Settings violates the rule.
  • The spatial index of the feature is missing or corrupted.

Solution or Workaround

To resolve the error, use one of the following solutions below depending on the cause:
  • To check the Output Spatial Grid settings in ArcMap, navigate to the main menu, and click Geoprocessing > Environments > Geodatabase Advanced. When specifying customized spatial grid sizes, ensure each successive grid is set at least three times larger than the previous level. If it is unnecessary to customize the spatial grid sizes, use the default values (0).
An image of specfying the Output Spatial Grids in the Environment Settings dialog box.
  • If the spatial index of a feature is missing or corrupted, run the Create File GDB tool in ArcMap to create a new file geodatabase, and import the output feature class into the geodatabase. When the feature is imported into the file geodatabase, a spatial index is automatically created for the output feature class.
An image of the Create File GDB dialog box.
An image of importing an output feature class into a new file geodatabase.

Article ID:000015090

  • ArcMap

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