One feature that has been a total turn-off for the ArcMap users (some of which are still resisting the move to ArcGIS Pro), is the inability to delete multiple fields.
We normally think of the attribute table like an Excel spreadsheet whereby if we want to delete columns, we just highlight them all and delete them. Well, with ArcMap it's not as easy as that. But, with ArcGIS Pro, the highlight all and delete option certainly works without a drag.
If you are still using ArcMap which will no longer be supported in 2026 by the way, this guide is for you. You can also check out some differences between ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro if you are struggling to notice the differences.
I'd like to mention that there is no external solution to making this happen. The solution to deleting multiple fields lies within ArcMap but it only takes experienced users to notice it. I struggled with this issue too for a while before coming across this tool.
So what we are looking for essentially is the Delete Fields tool under Data Management. But;
How do we get there? How do we find it?
There are two options. I will start with the easiest one.
- Search & Find
Like most software, ArcMap also provides its users with the search capabilities to find tools and components for your work. The search icon is located just below the top ribbon as indicated below.
For the lazy clickers a simple
F will do the trick for you again.
Once that is done, the Search Panel will slide over to your right section (depending on your ArcMap Configurations).
In the search box, type Delete Field and hit
Click the first option which is contained in the Data Management Toolbox.
The tool opens and provides you with options on how you would like to go about the process.
Select the layer to have the multiple fields deleted from and also tick the field names to delete.
The tool runs and you do not have any unwanted fields in your data anymore.
Another option to find this tool:
2. Toolbox Navigation
If you no your way around, then the Toolbox navigation option is for you. I usually find it a waste of time clicking and opening every toolbox just to find what I need.
The general path to navigate through;
Arc Toolbox -->
Data Management -->
The ArcMap view can be seen in the image below.
The follow along with the last few steps I have outlined above.
I'd encourage anyone in this field of work, to make an early migration to ArcGIS Pro before it is too late. ESRI has also come up with webinars and sessions that help users migrate to ArcGIS Pro before ArcMap is totally phased out.