Performance issues when opening a map document

Last Published: April 25, 2020


Opening a map document takes a considerable amount of time.


The performance issue could be due to any one of the reasons listed below:

• A corrupted map document

• The map document layer may contain geometry errors

Solution or Workaround

Below are some suggested methods towards improving map document performance in ArcMap.

  • A. Fix the map document with the MXD Doctor utility

    The MXD Doctor utility application fixes corrupt map documents or prevents possible corruption by analyzing broken .mxd files. Entities contained in the broken .mxd can be moved to a new or existing .mxd file.

    The MXD Doctor utility can be found by navigating through Start > Programs > ArcGIS > Desktop Tools > MXD Doctor.

    Additionally, minimize performing edits and geoprocessing tasks in the master map document. This can be accomplished by dragging and dropping selected layers that need edits into a blank document. Make the necessary edits and close the map so that changes made are reflected in the master map document.

  • B. Fix any geometry errors in the layers in the map document

    The Check Geometry tool checks for geometry validity, as geometry errors in a layer can cause problems. Once these errors are detected, they can be fixed using the Repair Geometry tool in the same location. It is best practice to run these tools periodically.

    The Check Geometry tool and Repair Geometry tool can be found in ArcMap by navigating to Geoprocessing > ArcToolbox > Data Management Tools > Features.
    Backup the data before running the tools as it may alter data in some cases.

  • C. Disable background processing

    Background processing can use up resources by remaining idle in memory until ArcMap is closed. As a result, tools that execute in background processing fail for not having enough memory available to run.

    To disable background processing on ArcMap, navigate to Geoprocessing > Geoprocessing Options, and uncheck the Enable check box under the 'Background Processing' section.

Article ID:000012094

  • ArcMap

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