Trouble using updateConnectionProperties in ArcPy

04-12-2022 01:18 AM
New Contributor II

I have inherited a number of ArcMap projects, where the data sources have been broken by various people's file admin. Shapefiles have been moved from one folder to another, but subdirectory organisation remains the same. I am trying to fix the links using updateConnectionProperties. I use the following code on individual shapefiles, but cannot get the desired result.

variable "newsource" returns a correct filepath (printed by line 7) but I think line 8 is the problem as "not possible" is printed. No errors are returned. Any help appreciated. Thanks

import arcpy
mxd = arcpy.mapping.MapDocument(r"C:\Users\CAddison\Documents\ArcGIS\Test001.mxd")
for lyr in arcpy.mapping.ListLayers(mxd):
		oldsource = lyr.dataSource
		newsource = oldsource[0:53]+str("\\NEW\\")+oldsource[65:]
		print newsource
		lyr.updateConnectionProperties(oldsource, newsource)
		print "not possible"


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6 Replies
MVP Esteemed Contributor

python 3 versus python 2.  Try


print("Not Possible")

... sort of retired...
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New Contributor II

Thanks Dan. Will try later, but since running the script resulted in newsource being printed and "not possible" also being printed, I'm not sure if this will fix the data links. Will try though, and thanks.

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Occasional Contributor III

Could it be that updateConnectionProperties method is only for Pro aprx projects, not ArcMaP mxd?

Updating and fixing data sources with arcpy.mapping—ArcMap | Dokumentation (

by Anonymous User
Not applicable

We've had mixed success with findAndReplaceWorkspacePath for mxds.

import arcpy, os
arcpy.env.overwriteOutput = True

# get mxd
mxd_pth = r"W:\GISRequests\DCI\2016MJ\2016_MJ_project.mxd"
mxd = arcpy.mapping.MapDocument(mxd_pth)
oldpth = r"W:\GISRequests\DCI\2016MJ"
newpth = r"W:\GISRequests\DCI\2016MJp\2016 MJ Project Geodatabase.gdb"

featureclasses = arcpy.mapping.ListLayers(mxd)

for lyr in featureclasses:
    lyrname =
    if lyr.supports("DATASOURCE"):
        if lyr.dataSource == os.path.join(oldpth, lyrname):
            arcpy.AddMessage("Updating: {}".format(lyrname))
            lyr.findAndReplaceWorkspacePath(oldpth, newpth)
del mxd


New Contributor II

Thanks a lot. This looks really useful, will give it a whirl. Pardon my ignorance, but does your "newpth" have to direct to a .gdb? Can this be used for individual .shp as I'm trying to do, where the .shp hasn't been added to a .gdb?

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by Anonymous User
Not applicable

No, it can be a folder if needed.