Model will not run in background

09-03-2013 03:04 PM
New Contributor
Made a behemoth of a model, I ensured background geoprocessing was enabled in ArcCatalog, and that the model was also set to be allowed to run in the background. Also, all of the tools that the model calls had their properties set to background processing, and all of the layers were set to be parameters (as stipulated at

Alas, it would not run in the background. I then did some testing. First, I ran the �??OD Cost Matrix Layer�?? tool from ArcCatalog�??s toolbox and it ran in the background. Cool. I then made a test model using the same tool-


Not cool. The model ran in the foreground. Any idea why this would be?

One other thing that is curious is that the option to toggle between running in the foreground or background is greyed out / disabled for all of the ArcToolbox tools (although the 'Always run in the foreground' option is unchecked for all of the tools that I have been using). Not sure whether this is normal or not?



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3 Replies
Esri Regular Contributor

You're correct on all your points, however it runs fine in the background for me when in a model.
Are you running from the Modelbuilder window? That will always appear to run in the foreground.
You need to save the model, close it, and open it as a tool (model tool) for it to run in the background.

You cannot change the setting for foreground/background, or any other properties for system tools. However, like you've noticed, this tool will work in the background. The model itself has a property to allow it to run in the foreground, do you have that one unchecked?
by Anonymous User
Not applicable
Original User: Paul_B

Ah, of course, hence the need to set input layers as parameters. Totally didn't get this bit as I have always run models from the Modelbuilder window.

Thank you so much for your quick response.

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Regular Contributor
For future reference, here are two help topics about foreground/background:

Foreground and background processing -- general stuff about foreground/background

Running custom model or script tools in the background -- this has some good stuff about running models in background, like making all layers parameters and how models inherit the foreground/background setting of tools it uses.
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