Installing ArcGIS Desktop 10.x

This tutorial walks you through the steps of downloading, installing, and licensing ArcGIS Desktop 10.x, which includes ArcMap, using a Single Use License.

Before You Begin | Troubleshooting | Download | Installation | Licensing | Data Interoperability

Before You Begin

  • Make sure you are on a Windows machine (or running Windows in a virtual environment). If you are on a Mac, please see these instructions.
  • Click on one of these links to see if your computer meets the system requirements:
  • You will need a program that can unzip files. If you need one, we recommend 7-zip, a free program for Windows.
  • Note: these instructions were written for ArcGIS Desktop 10.8.1. If you are installing a newer version, some file names might be slightly different, but the instructions will otherwise remain the same.


If you encounter issues during installation, please feel free to contact us for support. We are open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, except for the University of Toronto holidays.


  1. Request a license for ArcGIS Desktop using this license request form. You will automatically receive an email after filling out the form. If you haven’t received an email within a few minutes, check your Junk Mail. Feel free to contact us if you encounter problems.
  2. In the email you receive, please click on the download link under ArcGIS Desktop.
  3. Fill in your UTORid and password when prompted.
    UTORid authorization page
  4. Begin downloading the file. It is large (over 2 GB), so it may take some time.
  5. When the download is complete, unzip it.
    Right click on the file and select 7-zip. Click on Extract to "ArcGIS8.1\"
    Using 7-zip on the zipped file
  6. There should be three files: ArcGIS_Desktop_1081_175110.exe , ArcGIS_Data_Interop_for_Desktop_1081_175134.exe, and the licensing file, EducationSiteArcGISDesktop_SingleUse_947809.prvc.
    Window with all three files


  1. When the download has completed, double-click on the installation file, ArcGIS_Desktop_1081_175110.exe, to launch the ArcGIS for Desktop Setup program.
    ArcGIS_Desktop exe highlighted
  2. It will ask you where you want to extract the ArcGIS Desktop installer files to. Leave the recommended file path and then click the Next button to begin.
    Default file path (some parts blacked out) with the Next button highlighted
  3. This will take a few minutes. Once the extraction is complete, ensure that "Launch the setup program" is checked, and then click Close.
    Extraction complete, with Launch the setup program checked
  4. The Setup program will begin. Click Next.
    Setup program window with Next highlighted
  5. You will be presented with the Master Agreement. Once you have completed reading it, click "I accept the master agreement" and then Next.
    Master agreement window
  6. You will be prompted to select between a Complete and Custom installation of the program. We recommend a Complete installation unless you know which specific components you will need. Click Next.
    Selecting the Complete Installation type
  7. Install ArcGIS to the recommended directory.
    Leaving the recommended Destination Folder and clicking Next
  8. Install Python to the recommended directory as well. The Python programming language is necessary for some functions of ArcGIS Desktop.
    Leaving the recommended Python Destination and clicking next
  9. The program will ask if you wish to participate in anonymously sending usage data. Make your choice, then click Install. This process might take several minutes.
    Clicking Install on the final panel
  10. When the program has successfully been installed, click Finish to exit the installation wizard.
    Installation Complete; clicking Finish


  1. As soon as you have completed installation, the ArcGIS Administrator Wizard should immediately pop up.
    If it does not, please open the ArcGIS Administrator, which should be in C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\ and then click on Desktop, and then Authorize Now.
  2. Under "1. Select a Product, under ArcGIS Desktop," select "Advanced (ArcInfo) Single Use." Then, under "2. Launch the Authorization Wizard for Single Use Product," click on "Authorize Now."
    ArcGIS Administrator Wizard
  3. Select the option "I have received an authorization file from Esri and am now ready to finish the authorization process." Browse to the provisioning file you saved.
    Authorization Option: "I have received..." is highlighted
  4. Click "Next".
    Filepath to the provisioning file is now visible; Next is highlighted
  5. Select "Authorize with Esri now over the Internet." If your machine does not have an Internet connection, select the "Authorize at Esri's website or by e-mail to receive your authorization file". Click Next.
    Authorize with Esri now using the Internet is selected
  6. Review the pre-populated personal information and change any relevant fields to represent your infromation. At a minimum, we recommend changing your First and Last Name, as well as your phone number and email. Click Next.
    Changing personal information
  7. You will be prompted for your organization, industry, and role. Please fill these out as appropriate. For organization, we recommend Education-Student. For Industry, pick something related to your major. Under Yourself, please pick Student.
    Selecting Organization, Industry, and Yourself (role)
  8. Click Next.
    With fields filled, Next is highlighted
  9. On the next panel, there should automatically be a code in the box under "ArcGIS Desktop Advanced (Single Use). Click Next.
    The code (blacked out) is automatically populated; Next is highlighted
  10. This next step is somewhat unintuitive: first, please select "I do not want to authorize any extensions at this time" and then click Next.
    Authorize Software Extensions panel with "I do not want..." highlighted
  11. Then, on the following panel, please select all of the extensions in the left column ("Available Extensions") except for "Full Motion Video," and then use the right arrow button to move them to the right column ("Evaluation Extensions").
    The Evaluate Software Extensions panel with most Available Extensions highlighted
    Note: although you have a license for the Full Motion Video extension, we recommend against using it, since it expires after only 30 days (and has repeated popups warning you it is about to expire) and generally goes unused. That said, feel free to include it if you like.
  12. Once the extensions are in the "Evaluation Extensions" column, click Next.
    All extensions except Full Motion Video are in the Evaluation Extensions column
  13. Once ArcGIS finishes authorizing, click "Finish" to complete the authorization process.
    Popup stating that the software has been authorized, with the Finish button highlighted

Congratulations, you have now installed and authorized ArcGIS Desktop.

Data Interoperability

ArcGIS Desktop will work with the above steps, but it might encounter errors when working with certain file types. To allow it to work with as broad a range of file types as possible, please follow these steps to install the Data Interoperability Framework after the steps above:

  1. Returning to the files you downloaded, open ArcGIS_Data_Interop_for_Desktop_1081_175134.exe
    Folder with downloaded folders and the Data Interop .exe highlighted
  2. It will ask you where you want to extract the ArcGIS Data Interoperability installer files to. Leave the recommended file path and then click the Next button to begin.
    Popup with the recommended pathway, Next is highlighted
  3. Once the installation files have been extracted, ensure that "Launch the setup program" is checked and click Close.
    Successful extraction with Launch checked and Close highlighted
  4. On the Setup panel, click Next.
    First panel of the Data Interoperability setup, with Next highlighted
  5. After reading the Master Agreement, click "I accept the master agreement" and then click Next.
    Master Agreement, with "I accept" and Next highlighted
  6. Leave the recommended folder as is, and click Next.
    Destination Folder panel with Next highlighted
  7. Once the installation is complete, click Finish.
    Message that installation is complete, with Finish highlighted

The Data Interoperability extension has now been installed.