Error: Accessing data failed

Error Message

In some instances, when attempting to open the attribute table or edit the attributes of a hosted feature layer in ArcGIS Online, the following error message is returned:

Accessing data failed
An image of the error message.


The error may be due to one of the following possible causes:

  • The feature layer has a 'string' type field containing attribute values as <Null>. When less than (<) or greater than (>) signs are in a text field in ArcGIS Online, they are interpreted as HTML tags. <Null></Null> are not valid HTML tags and ArcGIS Online is unable to access the data.
  • One of the field names contains a special character, such as spaces, hyphens, brackets, or characters such as $, %, and #. For more information, refer to FAQ: What characters should not be used in ArcGIS for field names and table names?.

Solution or Workaround

To resolve this issue, the attribute field of the hosted feature layer must be edited in ArcMap by creating a local copy of the hosted feature layer. Depending on the cause, select one of the options below to resolve this issue in ArcMap once the local copy of the feature layer is created.

Change the <Null> attribute values to a blank space or supported characters
In ArcMap, edit the local copy of the feature layer to change the <Null> attribute values to blank spaces, or replace them with supported characters. Refer to ArcMap: Editing a value in a table cell, for the steps to edit values in an attribute table. The image below is an example of the field with the <Null> attribute values changed to blank spaces or allowed characters.

An image of the <Null> attribute values.

Create a new field without special characters in the field name
In ArcMap, create a new field in the feature layer local copy. Do not include special characters when setting up the field name. Edit the new field to copy the attributes from the field that contains special characters (the old field) using the Field Calculator.

An image of the Field Calculator dialog box.

Once the new field is populated with the attributes, delete the old field. To do this, right-click the old field and click Delete Field.

When the edits are made, synchronize the edits with the server. To do this, refer to Synchronizing local edits with the server. Open the updated feature layer in a web map to view the edits.

Related Information

Last Published: 1/8/2019

Article ID: 000016280