Frequently asked question

What are the roles of the files and subfolders in the ArcGIS MapCache directory?

Last Published: April 25, 2020


The MapCache folder is the local display cache folder that stores basemap layers, tiled images from cached map services from ArcGIS for Server, tiled images from other Internet map services, and the ArcGIS globe cache. The folder contains several subfolders that categorize and help manage and improve display performance when running ArcMap. For more information about the display cache, refer to ArcGIS Help: Managing your local display cache.

If the MapCache folder is not present when ArcMap is launched, the MapCache folder is automatically generated.

The role of the folders or files that are commonly found in the directory is as follows:

File/Folder NameDescription
MapCacheV1This folder writes out a series of cached .JPG format raster datasets to that location when the map view pans to that location. A folder is written for each cached level that is viewed.

The subfolders generated within the MapCacheV1 folder contain specific references to each of the services added. Configuration files found within these folders are essentially XML-based tiling scheme files that specify the spatial reference, scale levels, and resolutions of the cached tiles.
services.arcgisonlineThe files with the 'services.arcgisonline' prefix are map server files contained in the root MapCacheV1 folder; these files determine the local user profile and ArcGIS Online services used when the original cache is generated.

Service connection text files are created within this location. This allows for easy identification of which cached services may have been used previously, as these text files remain even after the basemap or cached maps are removed from ArcMap.
 BmLCacheThis folder contains a number of configuration and cache files that store and control basemap connections.

Lock files are also initiated in this location when a basemap is accessed within ArcMap.
Layers (_alllayers)This folder contains all of the tiles for the service at that scale level.

The subfolders within the '_alllayers' folder are given names such as 'L17' to indicate the specific detail level and for storing all .JPG tiles of interest for that service extent.

Article ID:000014930

  • ArcMap

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