The restrictive factors of cultivated land are key to the improvement of cultivated land quality, scientific implementation of the land consolidation projects, and the efficiency of remediation. On the basis of the provincial plots of cultivated land quality in Shaanxi Province, this paper analysed the improvement potential of cultivated land quality from the perspective of restrictive factors. First, the potential exponential model was used to determine the distribution of various combinations of restrictive factors at the provincial scale. Second, a geological detector was used to determine the influences of different combinations of restrictive factors on cultivated land quality. Finally, through the investigation of cultivated land consolidation projects that have been implemented in the study area, the improvement potential level of different combinations of restrictive factors was determined. The degree of influence of the single restrictive factor or combinations of restrictive factors on the quality of cultivated land was improved, and the difference of the quality of cultivated land in different index areas could be revealed as well. The results showed that there were 12 single‐factor restrictions and 34 double‐factor restrictions. The area under single‐factor restrictions reached 76.77% of the total land. The quality of cultivated land in the southern and central areas of Shaanxi Province was relatively good. The quality of cultivated land in the northern region was under significant influence of restrictive factors whereas that in southern and middle areas was less affected. From the perspective of improvement potential of restrictive factors, Shaanxi was relatively low with huge internal diversity, whereas the improvement potential in northern Shaanxi had huge advantage.