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Listed below are issues you may encounter when working with the portal website and some recommended solutions.




Hosted web layers


ArcGIS for Desktop and ArcGIS Explorer Desktop

I receive a software authorization error when I try to add a new member to the portal.

Portal for ArcGIS is licensed to allow a specific number of members. If the portal already has the maximum number of members for which it is licensed, no new accounts can be added, and you will see the message Unable to create a new account because of a software authorization error. Contact your Portal for ArcGIS administrator for assistance. Your portal administrator must either obtain a new license or remove existing members before any new ones can be added.

I receive a software authorization error when I try to sign in to my portal.

Portal for ArcGIS is licensed to allow a specific number of members. If portal members exceed that number, you will receive this message the next time you try to sign in to your portal: Unable to sign in because of a software authorization error. Contact your Portal for ArcGIS administrator for assistance. Your portal administrator must either obtain a new license or remove members from the portal.

When searching for layers to add to a map, only web layers are listed.

You can search for and add map, image, and feature layers, OGC WMS, and KML. Other layer types, such as layer packages, are not supported.

When searching for layers to add to a map, not all of my organization's layers are listed in the search results.

If you have already added a layer to your map, only layers that intersect the extent of the layer are listed in the search results.

The date and time in a pop-up do not match the date and time in the underlying data.

Servers store dates in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Web browsers convert the date to local time. For example, if you look at a time field in a pop-up and you are located in California during standard daylight time, what you see is 8 hours earlier (UTC-8) than the time in the data. This offset might affect the date as well. If you look at a pop-up with data from 7/7/2011 12:00 a.m., you see 7/6/2011 5:00 p.m.

When printing a map, some layers are missing.

Depending on how your administrator has configured the print service, certain types of layers may not appear on a printed map. Contact your administrator for further information. Additionally, if you print a map using your browser print button, many other layers and logos may be missing as well. Use the Print button on the map viewer for the most complete and well-formatted maps.

Thumbnails for newly created web maps are not generated or do not display correctly.

You may encounter this problem if your web maps contain ArcGIS Server services that use HTTPS. A print service is used to generate thumbnails. If the machine with the print service that generates the thumbnails does not trust the ArcGIS Server site hosting the HTTPS services, the thumbnails are not generated or do not display correctly. To resolve this, contact your portal administrator and have them establish trust between the machine and the site.

The map is missing a legend.

You will not see a legend for basemaps and OGC WMTS layers. You will also not see a legend for layers that are not accessible externally or that the map author has hidden.

The map legend is different from the legend I created in my map layer.

Legends for map layers may not match the legend in the map viewer. This typically happens when the legend in the map viewer becomes out of sync with the symbology in the layer. For example, the layer author has changed the symbology in the layer, but the map viewer still displays the older symbology. Often, the map viewer displays the latest legend after 30 minutes. Layer authors may need to clear the REST cache of the map layer to see the legend updates in the map viewer. Internet Explorer 7 may store legend information infinitely. The layer author can trigger an update to the legend by changing to the layers in the map layer, for example, by renaming a layer or reordering the layers.

I cannot reorder a layer in the map's contents.

Layers are always displayed on top of a basemap, and feature layers are always displayed on top of tileset layers (map, image, and tile layers). Depending on the type of layers you have in your map, you may not be able to move them all up or down. For example, if you have one map layer and three feature layers, you can reorder the feature layers, but you cannot move the map layer on top of them. You cannot reorder a KML layer or a basemap.

I lost the map I was working on.

You may lose your map when adding a secure layer or navigating away from the map viewer when the map is too large for your browser to cache (generally, larger than 2.5 MB, except with IE7 [64 KB] and IE8 [530 KB]). To prevent losing your map when you add large amounts of data, sign in before you start working and periodically save your map (if you have privileges to create items). If you plan to add secure layers, change the map viewer URL to HTTPS and add the secure layers first.

The time slider does not appear in a map with a time-aware layer.

Time-aware layers are not supported in KML documents, embedded maps, and layers from a file. The time slider does not appear in these cases. The time slider also does not appear if the map author has disabled time animation on the layer.

There is no option to use my layer as a basemap.

ArcGIS Server service layers, OGC WMS, OGC WMTS, and tile layers can be used as your basemap. Layers from a file, KML document, and map notes you create in the map viewer cannot be used as basemaps.

When I use my own basemap, some of the zoom levels in my basemap are missing on the map.

This happens because the map displays the zoom levels of the current basemap, for example, the World Topographic basemap. To see the additional zoom levels in the basemap you've added, save your map, close the map viewer page (for example, go to the Gallery), and reopen the map. The additional zoom levels appear. You need privileges to create items in order to save your map.

My basemap is unavailable, so none of my map content appears.

The map viewer can't display layers in a map without a working basemap because the basemap establishes the coordinate system of the map. Once you save a map with a basemap, the map viewer only uses that basemap; it doesn't revert to a default basemap if yours is unavailable. You can repair your map by using a different basemap as long as the spatial reference of the bad and new basemap are the same. Repair your map by choosing a different basemap from the gallery.

When I add an OGC WMS or OGC WMTS layer to my map, I get an error that the layer's coordinate system doesn't align with that of the basemap.

This error message usually appears if you added layers to your map and then add an OGC WMS or OGC WMTS layer that isn't in Web Mercator, the projection of the basemaps in the default map viewer gallery. Create a new map and add your OGC layer first. If your layer is in GCS WGS84, the map viewer uses the GCS WGS84 World Imagery basemap. If your OGC layer is in a coordinate system other than Web Mercator or GCS WGS84, your layer is used as the basemap. Now you can add additional layers.

The aerial imagery I added doesn't display on the map.

Tile layers that use aerial imagery may not display on the map if you are using a Web Mercator basemap (which is the projection of the basemaps in the Gallery) and the layer is not in Web Mercator. To display the layer, use it as the basemap or display it on top of a basemap that is in the same projection as the tile layer.

My map layer does not appear in the map viewer at the same scales for which I’ve cached tiles.

The map viewer honors the minimum and maximum scale set in layers created with ArcGIS 10.2. You can adjust these scales in ArcGIS for Desktop.

Some layers don't display correctly in the map. It looks like there is a mix of HTTP and HTTPS URLs. Is this mixed content negatively affecting the map display?

It depends. The specific behavior depends on your browser and browser version.

When you attempt to open an HTTPS-based layer in the map viewer that's on HTTP, your browser may notify you that you must reload the page (in this case, the map viewer) onto HTTPS and add the layer again. This applies to layers you add to your map and layers in existing maps. Some browsers may successfully load these layers without notification.

When you attempt to open an HTTP-based layer in the map viewer that's on HTTPS, the layer may not load correctly or may behave differently across browsers and browser versions. This applies to layers you add to your map and layers in existing maps. Some browsers may successfully load these layers.

You can read more about mixed content from various browser providers.

Some features are missing from my map.

If you imported data from a file, there are limitations on how many features the map viewer displays. If you add a text file (.txt or .csv) with addresses and you are signed in with an organizational account, the first 1,000 rows of features are displayed. If you add a text file with addresses and you are signed in with a public account or not signed in, the first 250 row of features are displayed. If you added a KML document, features from placemarks, network links, ground overlays without refresh properties, folders, and extended data are displayed. Other features are not supported at this time.

I am having issues working with maps in Internet Explorer 7 and 8.

For the best performance viewing and creating maps, it is recommended you use the latest version of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, or Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer 7 and 8 are supported but have performance limitations when working with maps. For example, you can add fewer features to the map through a file; when opening maps with lots of features, you may see a long-running script error message; you cannot drag and drop files onto the map; and you may lose your work if you leave the map viewer window without saving.

When I view a map, I see a message that I need to enable web storage.

The website leverages the web storage capabilities (similar to cookies) of the browser to temporarily store changes made to the map until you save the map. If web storage is disabled, the map will not function properly. See the steps below to enable web storage in your browser.

Internet Explorer 7

  1. Open the Tools menu, click Internet Options, then click the Security tab.
  2. Under Select a zone to view or change security settings, click Internet and click Custom Level.
  3. In Settings under the Miscellaneous section, click Enable under Userdata persistence and click OK.
  4. Click Yes when you are prompted to confirm you want to change the security settings for this zone.
  5. Click OK to close the Internet Options dialog box and close all Internet Explorer windows.

Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10, 11

  1. Open the Tools menu, click Internet Options, then click the Advanced tab.
  2. Under the Security section, check Enable DOM Storage and click OK.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. In the address bar, type about:config to view the browser settings.
  2. Scroll to
  3. Right-click the setting and click Toggle to set to true.

Google Chrome

  1. Click the wrench icon and click Options.
  2. On a Windows machine, select Options. Select Preferences on a Mac or Linux machine. Select Settings on a Chromebook.
  3. Click the Under the Hood tab.
  4. Click Content settings and under Cookies, select Allow local data to be set.


  1. Click the wheel icon and click Private Browsing to turn off private browsing. You see a check mark next to Private Browsing if it is on.

I cannot edit features I've added to my map.

When a feature layer is published, the publisher determines what, if any, edit operations can be performed through the feature layer. Be sure the feature layer is editable. Also, features from time-aware layers and OGC WMS layers cannot be edited in the map viewer.

I do not see an option to configure pop-ups even though I know my service has feature data in it.

The map viewer does not support editing or displaying pop-ups on OGC WMS or OGC WMTS layers. Configuring pop-ups on KML layers is not supported; any feature data in the KML layer is automatically displayed (you cannot disable or configure them).

Pop-ups don't appear in maps I've created.

The map viewer does not support displaying pop-ups on OGC WMS or OGC WMTS layers. For ArcGIS Server service layers, you need to share your layer for the pop-ups to appear in your maps. If you share your map layer with groups you belong to, and not everyone (public), only group members will see your pop-ups.

I cannot remove pop-ups on a layer in the map.

You can remove pop-ups on a map layer you have previously enabled and on features from a delimited text file or GPX file. You cannot remove pop-ups for ArcGIS Server feature layers, map notes layers created in the map viewer, or KML layers.

I do not see an option to save item properties on a layer I've updated in the map viewer.

You can only save item properties on layers you have added.

Number fields from a CSV on the web do not import correctly into the map.

If you are adding a CSV from the web that uses periods as decimals but your language is set to a system that expects commas for decimals, your number fields may not display correctly. The decimal characters in your file should match the format your system language expects. For example, if your system is set to English, your file should use periods as decimals. If your system is set to French, your file should use commas as decimals.

My organization has a Bing key that can be used in maps shared publicly. I see the Bing basemap in my maps but the public sees an ArcGIS Online basemap.

Verify that your organization has configured a Bing key for public use. If it has and the public does not see a Bing basemap in your map, resave your map.

I am having issues with styling.

Point symbols and labels do not appear in the scene.

Some systems can automatically switch between integrated graphics and dedicated graphics cards to render 3D graphics. The scene viewer works best with a dedicated graphics card; therefore, in your graphics card driver settings, make sure the per-application settings for your web browser are set to the dedicated graphics card.

My elevation layer doesn’t display correctly in the scene.

If you see benching, a step-like appearance of the elevation surface, in your elevation layer created from a cached elevation image service, you may need to lower the compression value and max error of the service to better match the resolution of the elevation data. You configure these settings from ArcGIS 10.3 for Desktop.

Layers are not ordered correctly in my scenes.

The scene viewer has a built-in hierarchy for ordering layers. The viewer displays your layers in the order listed below. Within each of these groups you can order the layers in the scene.

  • 3D-enabled layers—This includes 3D data with z-values and 2D data that has an Elevation mode of Relative to ground or Absolute height.
  • Dynamic map services and 2D feature layers with an Elevation mode of On the ground.
  • Hosted tile layers and cached map service.

For example, a dynamic layer of U.S. hurricanes always displays on top of a tile layer or cached map service of U.S. population density even if the hurricane layer is at the bottom of Contents.

The scene viewer appears in English even though my locale is set to a different language.

Currently, the scene viewer does not support Arabic or Hebrew. The user interface appears in English for these languages.

I cannot publish a hosted tile layer from a hosted feature layer.

This functionality is not supported when using Portal for ArcGIS.

I cannot publish my .txt file as a hosted feature layer.

CSV files must be formatted and saved as .csv. Other text files are not supported.

I don't see an option to publish to my organization's portal using ArcGIS for Desktop.

The following criteria must be met to publish to your organization's portal using ArcGIS for Desktop:

  • ArcGIS for Desktop must be connected to the correct portal. By default, ArcGIS for Desktop connects to ArcGIS Online. You'll need to use the ArcGIS Administrator to connect to your organization's portal. For full instructions, see Use ArcMap with your portal.
  • You must be signed in to your organization's portal in ArcMap. You can quickly check to see if you are signed in by clicking the File menu. If you see the Sign In option available, you are not signed in. To learn more, see Use ArcGIS for Desktop with your portal.
  • You must be a member of the publisher or administrator role in your organization's portal. Only members in the publisher or administrator role can publish services to the portal. You can check your member role by signing in to the portal website and selecting your name. This opens your member profile and will reveal your role in the organization.
  • Your organization's portal must be configured with a hosting server. A hosting server allows portal members to publish tiles and features to the portal. If no hosting server is present, you will not see My Hosted Services listed when publishing in ArcMap and you will not be able to publish hosted web layers to the portal. Contact your organization's portal administrator to determine if a hosting server has been configured. To learn more about hosted web layers, see About hosted web layers.

I cannot publish a hosted tile layer from the portal website.

Publishing hosted tile layers is supported through ArcGIS 10.2 for Desktop only. Publishing hosted tiles directly from the portal website is not supported at this time.

I want to update my hosted feature layer.

If you enabled editing on a hosted feature layer, you can edit the features and their display in the map viewer.

If you published a hosted feature layer from the website, you should delete the feature layer and related file from My Content, and add the updated feature file to My Content. This will create a new hosted feature layer. If you use the Update option in the feature file item details page, only the file will be updated; the hosted feature layer will not be updated.

Publishing a hosted tile layer takes a long time.

In general, the time it takes to render the tiles for a particular map is based on the spatial extent of the map to be cached and the number of layers in the map, as well as the load on the system at the time the map is being processed. The system is designed to scale automatically (by adding machines) as the load increases. However, lags are possible in cases where the system experiences drastic load.

When I attempt to publish a hosted feature or tile layer to the portal, publishing fails with the message ERROR 001369: Failed to create the service. Failed to execute (PublishServiceDefinition). Failed to execute (Publish Portal Service).

If the name of the layer you attempt to publish contains language characters that do not match the character set configured for the hosting server's managed database, publishing will fail. The language of the characters used in the service name must match the character set configured for the database.

To work around this issue, rename the layer to use the same language characters used by the database. Contact your portal administrator to determine which character set has been configured with the hosting server's managed database.

Publishing a service definition (.sd) file that I upload to my portal fails with the message Unable to publish item. This Item can't be published to Online Service.

Service definition files for ArcGIS Server web services are different from service definition files for hosted tile layers. What you connect to when you save the service definition file determines what type of service definition file is created.

When you save a service definition file in ArcGIS for Desktop, you must choose My Hosted Services when you Choose a connection to save a service definition file that can publish a hosted tile layer. You cannot connect to an ArcGIS Server or choose No available connection.

When I try to open service properties for my hosted layers in ArcGIS for Desktop, I receive the error message Cannot view or edit service properties. Please try to access the service properties through the server directly.

If the layer was created in the portal website, you cannot view the properties from the My Hosted Services node in the Catalog tree. You can view the service properties by connecting to the hosting server in ArcGIS for Desktop, or view the service properties directly in the portal website.

I cannot see layer packages or other files used in ArcGIS for Desktop and ArcGIS Explorer Desktop.

By default, the website only shows you content that can be opened in a web browser. To see layer packages and other desktop content in search results, groups, and the Gallery, set the website to show all content. Click the arrow to the right of Show: Web Content Only at the top of the website and click All Content from the drop-down list. For more information, see Show ArcGIS desktop content.

I cannot open an item in ArcGIS for Desktop.

To open items in ArcGIS for Desktop, you should have ArcGIS Desktop 9.3.1 or later. Some items require a more recent version of ArcGIS for Desktop—ArcGIS Desktop 10 or later is required to open ArcGIS for Desktop add-in files, Map Package, and Web Map. ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop or later is required to open Geoprocessing Package, Features, KML, Locator Package, Tile Package, Tiles, and WMS.

When updating a layer package or map package in My Content, the image is updated even when I select keep item properties.

When you update a layer package or map package, the item properties thumbnail is reset to the thumbnail in the package. This occurs even if you choose to preserve the item properties on the server. After you update the item, you need to reupload the image you want to appear on the item details page.

I was prompted for a login when opening a layer package.

When opening a package that has been shared with a group but not made public, you are prompted (through a pop-up dialog box) to enter your portal website user name and password. The dialog box includes an option to save your login information, which allows you to open shared packages without reentering your user name and password.

Opening a globe layer returns an error message in ArcMap.

By default, the portal website opens globe layers in ArcMap and you receive an error message. To successfully open these items, you must have ArcGlobe open and ArcMap closed on your machine.

When I click Open and the Open in ArcGIS for Desktop option to add a map layer I find in the portal website into ArcGIS for Desktop or ArcGIS Explorer, the layer doesn't work. For example, in ArcMap, I see a new layer is added, but it is broken and doesn't draw. The layer draws okay if I click Open in map viewer, so I know the server hosting the map service is up and running.

This is a REST configuration issue on the ArcGIS Server hosting the map service layer. It is causing the LYR files that are automatically generated when you click Open in ArcGIS Desktop to use the internal URL to the server rather than the external URL. This same issue also causes the View in ArcMap and View in ArcGIS Explorer links to fail on the REST Services Directory page for the map service. This can only be fixed by the administrator of the ArcGIS Server hosting the map service.

If you want to use services from a server that has this issue, you can still add the map service into your map or globe in ArcGIS for Desktop or ArcGIS Explorer Desktop by making a connection directly to the server and following the steps below:

  1. Open the Details page for the map service you want to work with and click the Map Contents link.
  2. Copy the first part of the URL of the Map Contents page, up to and including the word services, and delete the /rest part of the string so it has this format: http://gisserver:6080/arcgis/services.
  3. Open the Add ArcGIS Server dialog box inside the Catalog window and paste the string into the Server URL field. Within ArcGIS Explorer Desktop, open the Add Content dialog box and paste the string into the GIS Services field. You are now connected to the server.
  4. Browse to the map service you want to work with.
  5. You could also contact the owner of the server and let him or her know that this configuration issue needs to be fixed.

I receive a software authorization error when I try to sign in to my portal from ArcGIS for Desktop.

Portal for ArcGIS is licensed to allow a specific number of members. If portal members exceed that number, you will receive this message the next time you try to sign in to your portal from ArcGIS for Desktop: Error signing on to Portal for ArcGIS. Unable to sign in user because of software authorization error. Please contact your Portal for ArcGIS administrator for assistance. Your portal administrator must either obtain a new license or remove members from the portal.