Create an ArcMap startup log

Last Published: April 25, 2020


When a startup issue occurs in ArcMap, it can be difficult to determine exactly where the issue lies. A startup log can be created to pinpoint certain items that can aid in the troubleshooting process. The cause of the crash may reveal itself in the startup logs generated with this workflow.


The instructions provided describe how to create a startup log file.

  1. Navigate to the Windows Start menu and search for cmd. Right-click the Command Prompt, and select Run as administrator. Click Yes to allow the app to make changes.
Type CMD into Windows Search and right-click the Command Prompt.
  1. In the command line, navigate to the following default install directory where ArcGIS Desktop is installed. Type cd, followed by the 'bin' file path for the installed version of ArcMap, to set the file location.

ArcMap 10.1 and later:

C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.X\bin​

ArcMap 10.0 or 9.x:

C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\bin
A view of the Command Prompt and the corresponding C-drive directory.
  1. After navigating to the file path, type the following command. At this point in time, ArcMap attempts to open, and if the problem is still occurring, the application proceeds to crash.
arcmap.exe /log
  1. After the crash occurs, within the same command prompt session, enter the following command to view the log:
notepad arcmap.log

Article ID:000009316

  • ArcMap

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