Hosted layer management

As a publisher or an administrator in the organization, you must manage the hosted layers published to ArcGIS Online.

As with all items, you must configure details and settings for hosted feature layers. You can also monitor usage of your web layers.

Some management is specific to the type of hosted layer. See Manage hosted feature layers, Manage hosted feature layer editing, Manage hosted tile layers, Manage hosted scene layers, and Set hosted feature layer view definition for information on settings and management tasks specific to those layer types.

The following sections provide background information related to managing hosted layers.

Delete operations and layer dependencies

If you no longer need a hosted layer, you may want to delete it. Before you do, you should understand the dependencies between layers and data.

If you published the hosted layer directly to ArcGIS Online, deleting the hosted layer deletes the underlying data the layer represents. If you published or created the layer from an existing hosted feature layer instead, the existing hosted feature layer is the primary layer and is considered the data source. Deleting the dependent layers you created from the hosted feature layer does not delete the data.

The presence of dependent layers prevents you from deleting the hosted feature layer from which the dependent layer was created. When you attempt to delete a file or hosted feature layer that has dependent layers using the Delete button on the item's detail page, a message appears that lists the dependent layers. This message provides links to view and delete each dependent layer. Once you delete all dependent layers, you can delete the hosted feature layer or file.

If you delete the file from which a hosted layer was published, you'll receive a message warning you there are dependent layers. You will not be prevented from deleting the file, but if you do delete it, certain functionality may no longer be available. For example, if you delete the tile package from which a hosted tile package was published, maps that contain the hosted tile layer cannot be taken offline.

The following apply to dependent hosted layers:

  • If you published hosted tile layers, hosted scene layers, or hosted WFS layers from a hosted feature layer, you must delete these layers before you can delete the hosted feature layer.
  • If you created a hosted feature layer view from a hosted feature layer, you must delete the feature layer view before you can delete the hosted feature layer.
  • If you published hosted tile or scene layers from a hosted feature layer view, you must delete the hosted tile or scene layers before you can delete the hosted feature layer view.


Delete dependent layers first. You can delete multiple layers simultaneously from the Content page. If you also check the box next to the primary hosted feature layer, the delete operation may fail because you cannot control the order in which items are deleted when using this method.

Ownership of dependent layers and source files

If you are an administrator of the organization and have privileges to reassign ownership, you are responsible for changing ownership of items in ArcGIS Online.

A hosted layer and the file from which it was published—such as a shapefile, tile package, or scene layer package file—must have the same owner. To change ownership of the file, change ownership of the hosted layer that was published from it. The file item will be automatically reassigned.

Similarly, dependent layers and the hosted feature layer from which they were created must have the same owner. To change ownership of these layers, change ownership of the primary hosted feature layer. All dependent layers and the item used to create the primary hosted feature layer—such as a service definition file or CSV file—will automatically change ownership too.

For instructions on how to change ownership, see Manage content.

Metadata and hosted layers

As with other items, you can create item-level, standards-based metadata on hosted layers if your organization has metadata enabled.

When you publish a hosted feature layer from shapefiles with metadata, a file geodatabase containing feature classes that have metadata, or a map or service definition file in ArcGIS Pro or ArcMap that contains feature classes that have metadata, the metadata for each layer is also published and can be viewed and edited, per layer, in the hosted feature layer item's details page.

You can also add or edit metadata on the hosted layer item after you publish.

If you export data from a hosted feature layer or hosted feature layer view that has metadata to a file geodatabase or shapefile, the metadata is also exported. If you export the entire feature layer, layer metadata is exported for all layers that contain metadata.

For more information on item metadata and layer-level metadata in hosted feature layers and views, see Metadata.

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