Raster to Polygon (Point, Polyline) tool fails to execute after processing for some time

Last Published: February 13, 2024

Error Message

This article applies to retired ArcMap versions 9.x. Later versions of ArcGIS Desktop may contain different functionality, as well as different names and locations for menus, commands and geoprocessing tools.

When converting a raster with many cells to polygons with the Raster To Polygon tool, it fails and displays the following error message:

"An error was encountered while executing spatial_RasterToPolygon. 
Failed to execute (RasterToPolygon_1)."

This also applies to the Raster to Point and Raster to Polyline tools.


The output shapefile being created is approaching the 2.1GB limit for shapefiles. The output shapefile is written to disk during processing. This allows the monitoring of the completed amount.

Solution or Workaround

Use either option below:

  • Use RESAMPLE the create a coarser or lower resolution version of the raster that can be converted successfully. As the raster is resampled down, fewer features are required to represent it. At some point, the size of the output shapefile falls below this limit.
  • Use CLIP to split the raster into smaller pieces. These smaller rasters can be converted and processed individually.

Article ID:000007580

  • ArcMap 9 x

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