Display the 'Add OLE DB Connection' command in the Catalog tree

Last Published: April 25, 2020


Beginning with ArcGIS 10.1, connections to tables in supported databases should be made through the Database Connections dialog box (.sde files).To connect to other tabular, non-spatial data sources, use the 'Add OLE DB Connection' command. At version 10.1, this command is no longer displayed under Database Connections in the Catalog tree view in ArcCatalog or in the ArcMap Catalog window.Users should add the command to a toolbar in ArcCatalog. However, if a user insists that the command must be added to the Catalog tree (for example, if they only use the Catalog window in ArcMap and don't use ArcCatalog), the Windows registry can be altered to display the 'Add OLE DB Connection' command under Database Connections.


Be sure to close ArcGIS Desktop. Then, in the Windows Registry Editor, if the keys below don't already exist, add them as follows:

The instructions below include making changes to essential parts of the operating system. It is recommended that a back up be made of the operating system and files, including the registry, before proceeding. Consult with a qualified computer systems professional if necessary.

Esri cannot guarantee results from incorrect modifications while following these instructions; therefore, use caution and proceed at your own risk.

  1. Add a new key named Geodatabase to:


  2. Add a new key named Settings to:


  3. Add a DWORD named CreateOLEDBConnections to:


  4. Assign a value of 1 to the new DWORD entry.

    The 'Add OLE DB Connection' command is displayed under Database Connections in the Catalog tree the next time ArcCatalog or ArcMap with the Catalog window is opened.

Article ID:000011671

  • ArcMap

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