How do I authorize my ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap) version 10.x software?

Before Starting

  • ArcMap will no longer be available as of December 17, 2023 and a new authorization file will not be available for download. This is due to Esri retiring the ArcMap product. Please begin transitioning to ArcGIS Pro or ArcGIS Online.
  • Note that this process must be completed upon installation and on an annual basis. In January of each year, download a new authorization file from the Library's website, as indicated below, and repeat this process. Your software will stop working if this process is not completed annually.
  • Ensure that you have downloaded and installed the ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap) software. Instructions are available from the Library's website.
  • MacOS users are reminded that ArcMap only runs in a Windows environment.

Authorizing Software

  1. Download the authorization file from the Library's website
  2. Run the ArcGIS Administrator Wizard.
    1. After installing ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap) and closing the installer, the ArcGIS Administrator Wizard opens automatically.
    2. Otherwise, navigate to your Start Menu > All Programs > ArcGIS > ArcGIS Administrator.
  3. In the ArcGIS Administrator Wizard window, select the following ArcGIS Desktop Advanced (ArcView) Single UseIn the ArcGIS Administrator Wizard under 1. Select a product, select Advanced (ArcInfo) Single Use.
  4. Under "2. Launch the Authorization Wizard for Single Use products" click the Authorize Now button.
  5. In the resulting page, select "I have received an authorization file and am now ready to finish the authorization process."
  6. Click the Browse button and navigate to the authorization file that you previously downloaded and saved to your computer.Using the file navigator, locate the authorization file you downloaded and saved earlier. The file ends in .prvc.
  7. The file name is entered into the Browse box. Click Next.
  8. Select "Authorize with Esri now using the Internet." This requires a live internet connection.Select Authorize with Esri now using the internet. This requires a live internet connection.
  9. A form with name and contact information appears. Do not change the information that is automatically entered. Click Next.
  10. Enter the additional classification information according to your identity. Click Next.Enter the classification information that matches your identity. When complete, click Next.
  11. An authorization number is requested but has automatically been entered into the field. Do not change the information that is automatically entered. Click Next.
  12. Authorize all software extensions by selecting "I have authorization number(s) to authorize one or more extensions." Click Next.Authorize all extensions by selecting I have authorization number(s) to authorize one or more extensions. Click Next.
  13. Do not elect to evaluate additional software extensions. Click Next.
  14. The Authorization Wizard will connect with Esri's server to authorize the software. When it is finished, it will indicate if your software is authorized and ready for use. Click Finish.

    The Wizard will authorize your software against Esri's servers. When the process is complete, it will indicate if the software was correctly authorized. Click Finish.

Confirm your Software's Authorization

  1. Open ArcGIS Administrator. It can often be found at Start Menu > All Programs > ArcGIS > ArcGIS Administrator.
  2. In the file hierarchy, click on Availability under Desktop. Under the file hierarchy of ArcGIS > Desktop > Availability, the individual software components show an expiration date.
  3. The table that appears should show an expiration date of "16-Jan-20XX" indicating when the software will expire.


  • Last Updated Aug 07, 2023
  • Views 974
  • Answered By Megan Martinsen

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