Change the ArcGIS Desktop seat type for Citrix or restricted permissions environments

Last Published: May 30, 2023


Instructions provided describe how to change the ArcGIS Desktop seat type for Citrix or restricted permissions environments. Switching the ArcGIS seat type is normally accomplished using the Desktop Administrator; however, situations arise that do not lend themselves to the use of this traditional approach.

For example, in a Citrix environment, defining the ArcGIS application seat using the Desktop Administrator restricts all clients to adopt the same seat type. Another example is an environment where the user has very restricted permissions. Because changing the license type requires edit permissions to the registry, some users are not able to make this change themselves.

This document describes how to set a user environment variable to allow individual users to change to the seat type of their choice.

The user environmental variable for the ArcGIS Desktop seat type overrides the SOFTWARE_CLASS registry key created by the Desktop Administrator.

A valid license manager with the appropriate license for the seat type selected is required. The license manager can also be changed using a user environmental variable. See the link in the Related Information section below for more information.


  1. Add the following user environment variable: See: How To: Edit an environment variable
  1. Type Viewer for ArcView, Editor for ArcEditor and Professional for ArcInfo as the <seat_type>. Click OK twice.

Article ID:000013195

  • ArcReader
  • ArcMap

Get help from ArcGIS experts

Contact technical support

Download the Esri Support App

Go to download options