Too many temporary workspaces open

Last Published: April 25, 2020

Solution or Workaround

While trying to start a WINDOWS extension, I get one the following messages:

Too many temporary workspaces.

ERROR - Can not launch arcplotw. There are too MANY temporary workspaces from previously launched ARC commands. If these commands are still running, the workspaces MUST NOT be deleted. If these commands are not currently running (aborted) they MUST be deleted. The temporary workspaces are T$ARC0 - T$ARC9 on directory C: \TEMP\. Press any key to continue...

How can this be prevented?


The temporary workspace directory is full, or the WKSPDIR environment variable is improperly set.


The Windows extensions of PC ARC/INFO allow up to 9 simultaneous sessions; each session uses its own temporary workspace. You will get an error when you try to open one more session.

Each temporary workspace is deleted once its associated session is complete. If a session is aborted, then the temporary workspace may not be properly deleted. The message will occur if the temporary workspaces from aborted sessions are left to build up. The workspace should be deleted whenever a session ends abruptly. To delete the T$ARCn files and sub-directories, do the following:

In the Windows File Manager or Explorer navigate to the C:\TEMP\ directory. Highlight the T$ARC0 to T$ARC9 folders and delete them.

The message may also occur if the WKSPDIR environment variable is set incorrectly in the C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT (for DOS; Windows 3.1, 3.11, and 95) or in the CONTROL PANEL | SYSTEM properties (for Windows NT). The WKSPDIR environment variable setting should look like this:

There must be no spaces in this line, except after the word "SET". Note that the line ends with a backslash. The location of the directory must have full write access.


If you are running Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0, do not terminate the PC ARC/INFO session by clicking on the 'x' in the upper right corner of the Window. This causes an 'abnormal termination' of the program leaving behind the T$ARC directories and files. You must type the word 'QUIT' at the [ARC] prompt to end your PC ARC/INFO session.

Article ID:000001617

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