How To: Import database and server connections from ArcGIS Desktop to ArcGIS Pro


When working with both ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Pro, the database and server connections established in ArcGIS Desktop can be imported to ArcGIS Pro by connecting to the folder that stores the connection files on the local machine and adding them to a project in ArcGIS Pro.

The database and server connection files (.ags and .sde files) created in ArcGIS Desktop are generally stored in:



The following steps describe how to import and rebuild the database and server connections from ArcGIS Desktop in ArcGIS Pro:

The AppData and Roaming folders are hidden by default. Ensure both folders are made visible prior to running ArcGIS Pro. If ArcGIS Pro is already running, restart ArcGIS Pro for the program to detect the files.
  1. In ArcGIS Pro, navigate to the Insert tab > Add Folder > select the ArcCatalog folder located at:
    For more information on adding a folder connection, refer to ArcGIS Help: Connect to a folder.
  2. Once the folder connections are added, right-click the connection file > Add to Project. The connection is added to the Server or Database directories in the Catalog pane.

    Image of the Catalog window in ArcGIS Pro

Because ArcGIS Pro is project-based, database and server connections are only retained for the current project. To retrieve the same connections when creating a new project, create a project template using the current project. A project template can include maps, layouts, and connections to databases and servers. For more information, refer to ArcGIS Help: Create a project template.

Related Information

Last Published: 7/25/2018

Article ID: 000016815

Software: ArcGIS Pro 2.0.1, 2.0