All of the functions of Spatial Analyst or 3D Analyst fail, other geoprocessing tools seem to work fine

Last Published: April 25, 2020


When trying to execute any of the Spatial Analysis or 3d Analyst tools, an error message occurs and ArcMap or ArcCatalog exits with either a "referenced memory" error or an "ArcMap.exe" error.


This is due to a corrupt temporary directory or scratch workspace.

These tools write temporary rasters to the scratch workspace and default workspace. If no temp or scratch workspace are specified in Environment Variables, these files are written to the TEMP folder specified in the user's environment variables. If this folder becomes too full, i.e., it has too many files and folders, or is corrupted, this can cause the process to fail.

Solution or Workaround

Completely clear out the TEMP or TMP folder. By default, this is usually C:\Documents and Settings\<USER LOGIN>\Local Settings\TEMP, but check the Environment Variables to be sure.

Alternatively, specify a different default and temp workspace in ArcToolbox's Environments dialogue.

    Article ID:000008415

    • ArcMap

    Get help from ArcGIS experts

    Contact technical support

    Download the Esri Support App

    Go to download options

    Discover more on this topic