Problem: Unable to rename file geodatabases in ArcMap


Attempting to rename a file geodatabase returns the error:

"Failed to rename object".


There are two possible causes:

  • There is a .lock file for the geodatabase. The .lock files are created when a process accesses the dataset.
  • Anti-virus software prevents renaming of the geodatabase.
In some cases, .lock files may be left in the geodatabase folder afterwards (for example, when a process ends prematurely.)

Solution or Workaround

Use one of the following solutions to resolve this issue.

  • Restart ArcMap to terminate the process. If the .lock files remain after the process is finished, remove the .lock files manually. For more information, refer to the following article, FAQ: Why do file geodatabase .lock files remain after a process is finished?
  • Add exceptions for all ArcGIS applications to the anti-virus software.
  • Temporarily relocate the .gdb file and the backup .gdb file.
  1. Navigate to the .gdb folder location in Windows Explorer.
  2. Move the .gdb folder to another location.
  3. Start ArcCatalog.
  4. Copy and paste the previously relocated .gdb folder to the master folder location, and rename the file.
A backup file geodatabase can be created by building a new file geodatabase and loading the desired data into the backup, or by copying the .gdb folder into another drive.

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