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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 Desktop


I've encountered a maximum limitation when using the website.

The website has the following maximum limitations:

  • Number of groups per account: 512
  • Upload file size: 10 MB
  • Thumbnail image size: 1 MB
  • Sign in time: two weeks
  • URL characters for adding items from the web: 250

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 feature layers, tile layers, imagery layers, KML layers, and OGC WMS, WMTS, and WFS layers. 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 checked the Within map area box, only layers that intersect the extent of the current map extent 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 7/7/2017 12:00 a.m., you see 7/6/2017 5:00 p.m.

Dates appear to be formatted differently throughout the map.

When viewing dates in the map viewer, you might see different formats on different parts of the map. Map authors can configure the format that appears in pop-ups, tables, and labels. For other parts of the map, such as the time slider, the language associated with your account determines the date format.

Time does not appear in the date field.

Only short date formats display time (for example, 12/31/1999 and 31/12/1999). Time is not displayed as part of the date field for other date formats. To display time for date fields, you need to configure the date field in the pop-up to use one of the short date formats (and check the box to show time).

I can't edit the geometry of a feature in an editable feature layer.

If the editable feature layer contains m-values, you can't edit the geometry for existing features. To edit geometry for existing features in the layer, the layer owner must move the data with m-values to a separate layer (which can be in the same service).

When I print my 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 or OGC WMS and WMTS layers. You will also not see a legend for layers that are not accessible externally or if the map author has hidden it.

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

Legends for feature layers may not match the legends saved in web maps. This typically happens when you save the layer in the web map with different symbology from the original layer itself. Symbology is saved to the web map when you save the map. Therefore, if you have different symbology saved to the layer and want to display the layer's legend in the web map, you must remove the layer from the web map and add it back.

I can't 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, imagery, and tile layers) and KML 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 image layer and three feature layers, you can reorder the feature layers, but you cannot move the map image layer on top of them.

I lost the map I was working on.

You may lose your map when adding a secure layer while you are in HTTP or navigating away from the map viewer when the map is too large for your browser to cache. 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.

My web map contains a layer that is no longer available, and an error appears when I load the map. How do I remove this layer so that I can replace it with another one?

Save your web map. The problem layer won't be saved, and you can add other available layers to the map as needed.

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 services (map image 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. For basemaps that are tile layers, the tiling scheme of the bad and new basemaps must also be the same. Repair your map by choosing a different basemap from the gallery or using the URL parameter basemapUrl.

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

This error message usually appears when you added layers to your map, and you then add an OGC layer that is in a coordinate system other than Web Mercator (the projection of the basemaps in the default map viewer gallery). To remedy this, 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 WMS or WMTS layer is in a coordinate system other than Web Mercator or GCS WGS84, your layer is used as the basemap. If your WMTS layer supports multiple coordinate systems, you can select the one you want to use.

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 Desktop.

I have issues accessing ArcGIS Server services and OGC layers secured with web-tier authentication in Internet Explorer.

You may need to add the domains of your organization’s trusted servers to your browser’s trusted sites list. Check with you organization administrator for the trusted servers configured for your organization.

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.

When attempting to add a layer to the map, I see a message that the map viewer is unable to establish a secure connection to the layer.

It's likely that your organization is set up for HTTPS only, but the URL you are providing is HTTP. Some browsers notify you or block mixed content. You can try switching the layer URL to HTTPS. You can also contact your administrator about configuring SSL on the server hosting the layer.

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 rows 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.

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

  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 true.

Google Chrome

  1. Click the More icon and click Settings.
  2. Click Show advanced settings
  3. Under Privacy, click Content Settings.
  4. 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, KML and OGC WMS and WMTS 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 and 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).

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 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 file on the web do not import correctly into the map.

If you are adding a CSV file 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.

Search only suggests six features.

When searching for features in a layer, only six results are returned for suggestions. This might mean the list doesn't include the feature you are looking for.


The Story Map I’m configuring doesn’t have a setting to share subscriber content.

You can use My Stories to share subscriber content in Story Maps.

Hosted web layers

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

You cannot generate map tiles for a hosted tile layer published from a hosted feature layer if the hosted feature layer is is configured with certain styles and saved to the hosted feature layer item.

Additionally, this workflow is only supported if your portal has a relational data store (ArcGIS Data Store) configured with it's hosting server.

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.

When I upload a .tpk file and try to publish as a hosted tile layer, I receive the error Unrecognized service type.Image service.

Tile packages created with a tiling scheme that uses LERC compression result in hosted elevation layers when published in ArcGIS Online. They cannot be loaded and published to Portal for ArcGIS.

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

The following criteria must be met to publish to your organization's portal using ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro:

  • ArcGIS Desktop must be connected to the correct portal. By default, ArcGIS Desktop connects to ArcGIS Online. Use the ArcGIS administrator to connect to your organization's portal from ArcMap. For full instructions, see Use ArcMap with your portal. In ArcGIS Pro, add your organization's portal to your project and make it the active portal.
  • You must be signed in to your organization's portal to publish to it. In ArcGIS Pro, the active portal and your sign in status are displayed at the top of the project. In ArcMap, you click the File menu; if you see the Sign In option available, you are not signed in.
  • You must be a member of a role that has permissions to publish to your organization's 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 hosted tile, feature, and scene layers to the portal. If no hosting server is present, you cannot publish 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 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 can delete the feature layer, use the Update option on the related source file's item page to update the file, then use the Publish option to create a new hosted feature layer from the updated file. The feature layer will not be updated automatically after its source file is updated.

To update the data in hosted feature layers published from a file geodatabase, shapefile, GeoJSON, or CSV file containing latitude and longitude information, replace the data with data from an updated source file using the Overwrite option available on the hosted feature layer's item page.


The Overwrite option is only available for portals with a hosting server that uses a relational data store.

If you published the hosted feature layer from ArcMap, overwrite the service from ArcMap.

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 web 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 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 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 Desktop, or view the layer properties directly in the portal website.


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

To see layer packages and other desktop content in search results, groups, and the Gallery, set the website to show desktop content. Perform a search and on the Search Results page, check the box to Show ArcGIS Desktop Content. For more information, see Show ArcGIS desktop content.

ArcGIS Desktop

I cannot open an item in ArcGIS Desktop.

To open items in ArcGIS Desktop, you should have ArcGIS Desktop 9.3.1 or later. Some items require a more recent version of ArcGIS Desktop—ArcGIS Desktop 10 or later is required to open ArcGIS Desktop add-in files, map packages, and Web Maps. ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop or later is required to open geoprocessing packages, features, KML, locator packages, tile packages, tiles, and WMS layers.

ArcGIS Pro 1.1 or later is required to open ArcGIS Pro add-in files.

Note, though, that add-ins are backward compatible but not forward compatible. For example, an ArcGIS Pro 1.1 add-in can be opened by ArcGIS Pro 1.1 or a later release, but an ArcGIS Pro 1.2 add-in can only be opened by ArcGIS Pro 1.2 or a later release.

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 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 ArcMapand you receive an error message. To successfully open these items, you must have ArcGlobe open and ArcMapclosed on your machine.

When I click Open and the Open in ArcGIS Desktop option to add a map layer I find in the portal website into ArcGIS 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 GIS 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 GIS 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 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: https://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 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 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.