ERROR

Failed to add data: <shapefile name>.shp

Last Published: May 26, 2021

Error Message

In ArcGIS Pro, it is possible to add a shapefile to a map. In some instances, attempting to do so fails and returns the following error message:

Error:   
Failed to add data: <shapefile name>.shp
Failed to add data: <shapefile name>.shp

Cause

 

  • The shapefile’s location folder contains missing files.
  • The shapefile’s location folder contains misspelled file names.
  • The shapefile is corrupt.

Solution or Workaround

Depending on the cause, use one of the workarounds below to resolve the issue.

Note:
After attempting a workaround, add the shapefile to the map in ArcGIS Pro. If the shapefile’s location folder is added as a folder connection, right-click the folder in the Catalog pane, and click Refresh before adding the shapefile to the map.

Ensure the shapefile’s folder contains all the necessary files

  1. Navigate to the shapefile’s folder, and identify the missing .shp, .shx, .dbf, and .prj files. In this example, the ‘California_Cities_csv.dbf’ file is missing.
The data1 folder with the California_Cities_csv.dbf file missing.
  1. Search for and copy the backup copy of the file to the folder. Refer to How-To Geek: How to Copy or Move Files on Windows 10 for the steps to copy a file into a folder. The image below demonstrates a complete shapefile folder.
The data1 folder displaying the complete shapefile folder containing all the necessary files.

Rename all the misspelled files in the shapefile’s folder

  1. Navigate to the shapefile’s folder, and identify all the misspelled .shp, .shx, .dbf, and .prj file names. In this example, the ‘California_Cities_csv2.shx’ file is misspelled.
The data1 folder containing the mispelled .shx file name.
  1. Right-click the misspelled file’s name, and click Rename.
  2. Type a name, and press Enter. The image below demonstrates a complete shapefile folder with the correct file names.
The data1 folder displaying the complete shapefile folder containing all the necessary files.

Repair the corrupt shapefile

Recover the shapefile. Refer to How To: Recover a corrupt shapefile for more information.

Article ID:000025582

Software:
  • ArcGIS Pro 2 8 x
  • ArcGIS Pro 2 7 x
  • ArcGIS Pro 2 x

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