Unable to create new shapefile, permission is denied

Last Published: April 25, 2020

Error Message

In ArcMap, attempting to create a shapefile from the Catalog tree returns the following error message:

Unable to create new shapefile, permission is denied.

The error message is also returned when attempting to save the shapefile in a system folder such as Windows, Program Files, and Program Files (x86).


The following are probable causes:

  • The shapefile name contains characters such as the forward slash (/), backward slash (\), bar (|), and asterisk (*), which are not supported in ArcGIS Desktop.
  • The user is unable save the shapefile in the folder location due to insufficient permissions┬áto read or write in the system folder.

Solution or Workaround

Depending on the cause, select one of the options below to resolve the issue:

Article ID:000021456

  • ArcMap

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