This instruction will fix broken links in an ArcGIS layer file and save it as a new file with relative paths to the data. This means that the new layer file will work as long as you move the file together with the associated data.

  • Start a new empty ArcMap document.
  • Configure the document to store relative paths to data sources.

  • Save the document.
  • Add the broken layer file.
  • Double click the layer with a red exclamation mark.
  • Click the Source tab.
  • Click Set Data Source button.
  • Select the correct data source and click Add and OK.
  • Confirm that the exclamation mark is gone and that you can view the data.
  • Save the document.
  • Right click the top level in the TOC tree and select Save As Layer File...