Script-based tools fail to execute with background processing enabled when ArcGIS Engine is installed

Last Published: April 25, 2020


Geoprocessing tools based on scripts do not execute when background processing is enabled and ArcGIS Engine Runtime has been installed on the same machine.

After executing the tool, the Results window shows an executing and start message, but nothing further. The status changes to a red 'x'.


ArcGIS Engine Runtime can run tools in the background, similar to ArcGIS for Desktop. When ArcGIS Engine Runtime was the last product installed, it binds to the background processes, which makes them unusable by ArcGIS for Desktop.


This issue has three workarounds:

  • If ArcGIS Engine Runtime was the last application installed, run a repair on the ArcGIS for Desktop installation. The repair will rebind the background processes to the Desktop product.

    A repair can be performed from the Control Panel > Programs and Features menu. Select ArcGIS Desktop and click the Modify button. Choose the repair option and proceed.
  • Change the order of installation.
    Installing ArcGIS for Desktop as the last product properly binds the background processes.
  • Uninstall ArcGIS Engine Runtime from the machine.

Article ID:000011472

  • ArcMap
  • ArcGIS Engine

Get help from ArcGIS experts

Contact technical support

Download the Esri Support App

Go to download options

Related Information

Discover more on this topic