How to backup your GIS project to FTP (Dante Account) or external media

  1. Setup your project folder.

    • Create a new folder to contain all of your project files. It is recommended that you create a folder with no spaces in the path (e.g. C:\your_project or C:\WorkSpace\your_project).

    • Open up ArcMap and immediately save the blank project to your newly created folder (e.g. save to C:\your_project\gis_project.mxd)

    • Set up your project to save relative paths:

      1. In ArcMap, go to the "File" menu and select "Document Properties..."

      2. In the Map Properties dialog box for your project, click the "Data Source Options..." button:

    data source option

    • In the "Data Source Options" dialog box, click the button next to "Store relative path names":

    data source option

    • Click "OK" twice to get back to your project.


  1. Do your project work

  2. Tips for making your project files smaller to fit on your media:

    • If you downloaded and extracted zipped up shapefiles to your project folder, you will end up with something like this:


    You do not need to keep the "" file for your project to work. You may delete any .zip files as the .mxd does not recognize them as GIS data in your project.

  1. Copy your folder to your media of choice: