The Change button in ArcGIS Administrator is disabled

Last Published: March 15, 2021


Under the Desktop folder in ArcGIS Administrator, the Change button to access ArcGIS License Manager is disabled.

The Change button to access the ArcGIS License Manager is unavailable in the ArcGIS Administrator window
In ArcGIS 9.3.x or earlier, ArcGIS Administrator is known as Desktop Administrator.


The following are the known causes for this issue:

  • ArcGIS Administrator is launched using a user account without administrative privileges.
  • ArcGIS Administrator is launched while ArcGIS Desktop is running.
  • Missing or corrupted .dll files.

Solution or Workaround

Perform any of the following workarounds to resolve the issue:​​​

Run ArcGIS Administrator with administrator permissions

  1. Click Windows Start Menu > All Programs > ArcGIS.
  2. Right-click ArcGIS Administrator, and select Run as administrator.

Close all ArcGIS Desktop applications prior to running ArcGIS Administrator

Ensure ArcGIS Desktop applications such as ArcMap and ArcCatalog are closed before launching ArcGIS Administrator.

Change the Product and License level via batch file

  1. Launch Notepad.
  2. Enter the following in Notepad:
set ESRI_LICENSE_HOST=<name of ArcGIS License Manager>
set path=<path> (example:C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.7\bin)
  1. Save the file as a .bat file.
  2. Run the file to launch ArcMap with the preferred product and license level.
Changing the seat class enables the use of a specific license level. For more information on seat classes and the license levels they represent, refer to ArcGIS Desktop: Installing ArcGIS Desktop silently.

Change the Product and License level via Windows Registry Editor

The instructions below include making changes to essential parts of your operating system. It is recommended that you backup your operating system and files, including the registry, before proceeding. Consult with a qualified computer systems professional, if necessary.

Esri cannot guarantee results from incorrect modifications while following these instructions. Therefore, use caution and proceed at your own risk.

Edit the following registry keys according to the license level.

  1. Open the Registry Editor. Navigate to Start > Run, and type regedit. Click OK.
  2. Navigate to the license folder in the following path:
For 32-bit machines: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ESRI\License10.x
For 64-bit machines: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\ESRI\License10.x
The path to the license folder in the Registry Editor
  1. Right-click the SOFTWARE_CLASS string and click Modify.
  2. Change the value data according to the license level as per below:
    • For Basic: Viewer
    • For Standard: Editor
    • For Advanced: Professional
Modifying the Value data according to the license level in the Edit String window for SOFTWARE_CLASS
  1. Right-click the SEAT_PREFERENCE string and click Modify.
  2. Change the value data according to the license type as written below:
    • For Concurrent Use: Float
    • For Single Use: Fixed
Modifying the Value data according to the license type in the Edit String window for SEAT_PREFERENCE

For more information, please refer to the Related Information links below.

Article ID:000012046

  • ArcMap

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