Modifying a spatial index

Functionality limited in ArcGIS for Desktop Basic.

You can rebuild the spatial index of feature classes in enterprise geodatabases or databases that use the ST_Geometry storage type in Oracle or Geometry storage in SQL Server. For all other storage types in enterprise geodatabases and databases, and for feature classes in file geodatabases, you can delete and re-create spatial indexes but not modify them. Spatial indexes on feature classes in personal geodatabases cannot be modified or re-created.

You can see what type of geometry storage is used for feature classes in enterprise geodatabases by looking at the Geometry Properties section on the General tab of the Feature Class Properties dialog box.


Modifying the spatial index of a feature class in an enterprise geodatabase is available with ArcGIS for Desktop Advanced and Standard only.

Be aware that building a new spatial index for a feature class in an enterprise geodatabase or database is a server-intensive operation—it should not be done on large feature classes when many users are logged in to the server.

To modify or re-create a spatial index on a feature class, do the following:

  1. Start ArcMap and open the Catalog window or start ArcCatalog.
  2. In the Catalog tree, connect to the geodatabase that contains the feature class for which you want to modify the spatial index.

    For enterprise geodatabases or databases, you must connect as the data owner to alter the index.

  3. Right-click the feature class and click Properties.
  4. Click the Indexes tab.
  5. How you modify the spatial index for a feature class depends on what spatial data type the feature class contains.
    • For feature classes using Geometry storage in SQL Server, click Recalculate to let ArcGIS set the grid size.
    • For feature classes using ST_Geometry in Oracle, click Rebuild.
    • For feature classes in file geodatabases; feature classes in PostgreSQL, DB2, or Informix; or feature classes using binary or SDO_Geometry storage in Oracle or Geography storage in SQL Server, you can click Delete to drop the spatial index then click Create to create a new one. The re-created index will reflect the current data.

    Do not delete and re-create the spatial index on feature classes in Windows Azure SQL Database that contain several millions of records or more. The operation of creating a spatial index on a feature class containing millions of records could be terminated if Windows Azure SQL Database determines that the operation is consuming too many server resources. This can leave your feature class with no spatial index.

  6. Click OK to build the spatial index and close the Feature Class Properties dialog box.