Run multiple types of ArcGIS software on the same machine

Last Published: May 30, 2023


This article applies to retired ArcGIS versions 8.x and 9.x. Later versions of ArcGIS may contain different functionality, as well as different names and locations for menus, commands and geoprocessing tools.

ArcGIS is written on a common code base. This means that once ArcGIS is installed, only the version of ArcGIS that was installed can be run unless you change it using the Desktop Administrator. This causes problems with users running Citrix or Windows Terminal Services.


Set the user environment variable ESRI_SOFTWARE_CLASS to the product you need to run.
For help with setting a system environment variable, see: How To: Edit an environment variable.

Options are:

  • Viewer for ArcView
  • Editor for ArcEditor
  • Professional for ArcInfo
The appropriate license must be available. Although the application title does not change, the application functionality will reflect the setting.

Article ID:000005742

  • ArcMap 8 x
  • ArcMap 9 x

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