The default working directory folder is hidden in ArcCatalog

Last Published: April 25, 2020


The default working directory does not appear as a folder in ArcCatalog. This directory was set on the General tab of the Options dialog box on the Spatial Analyst toolbar. The only way the datasets in this folder can be managed (deleted/moved/copied and so on), is by navigating to this location in Workstation ArcInfo.


In ArcCatalog, if a folder or file has the system attribute set, it will not show up in the ArcCatalog tree.

Solution or Workaround

You can usually right-click the folder/file in Windows Explorer, bring up the properties window, and uncheck the necessary attributes. For times when a system attribute is set, and you cannot remove it through Windows Explorer, do the following:

  • To reset the attribute on files and folders, use the Attrib command:

    1. Start a Command Prompt window from the Start toolbar.
    2. Type the following and press Enter.


    This will list the attributes set for all files and folders in the current directory.

  • To set the system attribute to off for all files in the current directory:

    1. Start a Command Prompt window.
    2. Type the following:

    attrib -s *.*

  • To remove the attribute only from the system Temp folder:

    1. Start a Command Prompt window.
    2. Navigate to the system Temp location:

    cd c:\winnt"

    3. Type the following:

    attrib -s temp

    You can run Attrib with fully qualified paths:

    attrib -s c:\winnt\temp

Article ID:000004625

  • ArcMap 8 x

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