ArcMap crashes when trying to start, but ArcCatalog starts correctly

Last Published: March 23, 2021


This article pertains to ArcGIS versions 9.x and 10. Later versions of ArcGIS may contain different functionality, as well as different names and locations for menus, commands and geoprocessing tools.

When starting ArcMap, a crash may occur. ArcCatalog and other ArcGIS Desktop applications start with no errors. The error can vary, including the following examples:

ArcMap.exe has generated a problem and needs to close
runtime error


The most likely cause is the current default printer. ArcMap checks the margin, page size, and resolution of the default printer when starting up. If the driver or printer returns bad information, this can cause ArcMap to crash.

Solution or Workaround

Use one of the following solutions below:

Article ID:000008182

  • ArcMap 10 0
  • ArcMap 9 x

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