An unknown error has occurred loading this published map

Last Published: February 12, 2024

Error Message

ArcReader 10.8.2 update on December 2021 was the last release. We encourage users of ArcReader to transition to the updated alternatives for publishing and sharing map packages with ArcGIS Pro, and workflows using the ArcGIS Pro version of the ArcGIS Publisher extension in conjunction with ArcGIS Field Maps.

After creating and publishing a Published Map File (PMF) package, users are unable to open the PMF file in ArcReader. The following error is returned:

"An unknown error has occurred loading this published map."

In other situations, when users attempt to access a published map on ArcReader, the following error message is returned, and nothing is loaded:

"An unknown error has occurred while loading document."


There are several causes of this issue:

  • Compatibility issue. This issue occurs due to users using different version of ArcReader and Publisher in ArcMap. For example, ArcGIS 10.1 PMF files are not backwards compatible with ArcGIS 10.0. In addition, ArcReader 10.1 cannot be installed on the same machine as ArcGIS Desktop 10.0, so this explains the error message.
  • The location of the PMF files is altered. The end user does not have access to both the PMF and the data. In theory, if users do not have at least read access to the data, users are unable to open the map. Granted, that also depends upon how the map is published.
  • PMF files are corrupted.

Solution or Workaround

Follow the suggested solutions below to solve this issue:

  • Download the right version of ArcReader which is compatible with version of Publisher in ArcMap. The link for downloading different ArcReader releases can be foundĀ here.
  • Ensure the user of the second machine has permission on the PMF and folder.
  • Create a new map document and publish it using the Publisher extension. To do this, follow the steps below:
    1. From the Publisher toolbar, select Publish Map.
    2. Create a new folder. The new folder is used to house both the PMF file and the data package. The reason for this is to keep all the elements of the published map together for future distribution to users who have ArcReader.
    3. Name the file, and click Save.
    4. From the Publisher toolbar, select Create Data Package.
    5. Select the PMF file generated in Steps 1 - 3. Click Open.
    6. Specify the save location. Use the folder created in Step 2.
    7. Ensure that the Data Format is set to File Geodatabase.
    8. Ensure that the box under is unchecked.
    9. Click the Extent tab.
    10. Check the boxes next to include all features in the dataset. Click OK.
    11. Once the Data Package is created, send the entire folder created in Step 2 to the end user, and they now can access to the PMF as well as all of the published data.

Article ID:000012567

  • ArcReader

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