Installing ArcGIS for Desktop

ArcGIS Desktop is a complete suite for desktop GIS that you can use to create maps, perform spatial analysis, and manage data.

ArcGIS is available to all current Georgetown students (Windows only). To get ArcGIS, you’ll need to obtain and then activate an authorization code. Once you activate the authorization code, you can install ArcGIS. Your ArcGIS license will be valid for one year from the activation date. 

Before you Install ArcGIS for Desktop

Before you can install ArcGIS, you’ll need to do the following: 

Step 1. Activate your authorization code

  1. Visit to begin the process of activating and downloading your ArcGIS for Desktop Student Trial software.
  2. Log in using your Existing Esri account, or sign-up for a new Esri account, if necessary.
  3. Enter the authorization code and click Activate ArcGIS.
    • If you need to download ArcGIS for Desktop, proceed to step 4.
    • If you received the ArcGIS for Desktop software from your instructor or license administrator, or will be installing from a network server, proceed to step 4 under “Download and Install ArcGIS”.
  4. Click the button for the ArcGIS for Desktop software version being activated.

Step 2. Download and install ArcGIS for Desktop Student Trial

  1. If necessary, download the ArcGIS Uninstall Utility and uninstall previous versions of ArcGIS Desktop or Server. The software cannot be installed on a computer that has a previous version of ArcGIS for Desktop or ArcGIS for Server installed. It’s OK if the computer has ArcGIS Explorer installed.
  2. If necessary, install the Microsoft .NET Framework (version 3.5 Service Pack 1 or higher). If you are unsure if you have the .Net Framework installed, you can download a .NET version detector from the site
  3. Determine the location for the ArcGIS for Desktop software you wish to install and click the Download button. You can also download the Tutorial Data, if desired.
  4. Double-click ArcGIS_Desktop_10XXXXXXX.exe (Depending on the version you selected, the file extensions may be different) to extract the installation files.
  5. Locate and run Setup.exe to install ArcGIS for Desktop. The “Complete” installation is recommended.
  6. After the files are installed, the Authorization Wizard will open and prompt you to choose a product to authorize; select ArcGIS Desktop Advanced (Single Use) and then click Continue.
  7. The Authorization Wizard will prompt you for an authorization code; enter your activated code. Follow the prompts and the software will authorize and be ready for use. Note:  Leave the default option for the software extensions selected; they will be authorized automatically.

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