Permanent delete option for layers in table of contents

03-04-2021 11:40 AM
Status: Closed
Labels (1)
New Contributor II

I don't know how workable this idea is, but sometimes I would find it very useful to delete a layer (i.e. both the feature layer as well as in the layer in the Table of Contents). Would a delete and delete permanent be an option? Preferably, "delete permanent" would be somewhere in a sub-folder, when right-clicking an Image/Layer on the table of contents (a bit hidden away). 


Hello Piet,

Because I'm on the Layout team and I see this idea is labeled "Layout", I'll provide my feedback/opinion.

I personally think this might be a not be good option to expose on a map / layout view.  I don't like the idea of being able to delete a Feature Class or other data source from a Map View or Layout View.  A data source could be used in many maps and even in many projects.  I like the idea of having to go to the data source via the Catalog pane or Catalog view to manage data in a database.  Your idea may save a few mouse clicks, and that I understand, but if someone were to inadvertently interpret the wrong option, then it could have a significant impact on other maps/projects that use the data.  Do you agree?

Jeff - Layout and teams


Hello Jeff, 

Thank you for your quick response! I wasn't sure which label to provide this idea with; it is more menu/structure related. 

I agree with you it really depends on the scenario if/when this can be useful, and sometimes undesirable.

Still, I think that you could perhaps give the user the option to do so, if desired. Perhaps it could be opted-off by default, but switched on in the main/advanced program settings?  

Why I raised it as an idea is because in my workflow, I often do some modelling which produces intermediate data. Using Python or Modelbuilder, intermediate data can be deleted automatically, but while running geo-processing tools in a map or layout view, I must admit that it piles up occasionally during those times and disrupts the workflow. In those cases, I wish I had a permanent delete button. 



What you're describing doesn't seem to line up with the documentation about the behavior of intermediate data.  The help indicates that when run as a tool in the geoprocessing pane, outputs marked as intermediate data are deleted automatically...

Set the delete or preserve intermediate data option

Intermediate outputs are deleted by default. To preserve intermediate data, right-click the output variable and select the Delete Intermediate Data option. A model tool run by double-clicking the model in the Catalog pane and opened in the Geoprocessing pane deletes the outputs marked as intermediate data automatically. To delete the intermediate data when run from within a model, on the ribbon, click ModelBuilder, click Run, and click the Delete Intermediate Data button.


Status changed to: Closed

This has been reviewed by the development team and considering the lack of demand and the fact that it blurs the line between what a layer is and a data source, we will not be pursuing this idea.

Something to try may be to write your intermediate output from gp tools to the memory workspace, so that even if you add the output as a layer to visualize it, removing the layer will effectively "delete the data source", being the memory layer that will be wiped the next time the application is closed.  

While this idea is not a good fit, thank you for your participation in ArcGIS Ideas - we truly appreciate your input into the development process.

Thank you!