This document may contain VBA code but you don't have a VBA license

Last Published: April 25, 2020

Error Message

Opening an MXD file in version 10.1 or higher that contains VBA customizations displays a message that says "This document may contain VBA code but you don’t have a VBA license."


Support for VBA was deprecated with the 10.1 release of ArcGIS for Desktop. As such, the resources needed to execute VBA customizations are not included with the default install of ArcGIS for Desktop version 10.1 or higher.

To use VBA with ArcGIS for Desktop 10.1 or higher, it is necessary to obtain the VBA Compatibility utility and VBA license authorization file. These files are provided free of charge, but are required to utilize any VBA customizations.

This installation does not include the ArcObjects VBA SDK assemblies, which are needed to develop VBA customizations.

As VBA is no longer supported by the ArcGIS for Desktop application, Esri cannot guarantee that all VBA code that worked in previous versions works in future releases of the software. After using the VBA Compatibility utility it is expected that users work towards migrating their customizations to a supported language (Java, C++, VB.NET or C#.NET).

Solution or Workaround

  1. After installing ArcGIS for Desktop, install the ArcGIS for Desktop VBA Compatibility utility:

    • By locating the setup.exe located in the \ArcGIS_VBA folder on the installation media or download folder, or

    • By selecting the ArcGIS for Desktop VBA Compatibility link on the ArcGIS for Desktop startup menu
  2. Authorize the ArcGIS VBA Compatibility by obtaining an authorization file for VBA.

    The ArcGIS VBA Compatibility setup is not an upgrade setup. If a previous version of ArcGIS VBA Compatibility is installed, it must be uninstalled prior to installing the version available in the 10.2 release. However, a 10.2.1 VBA installation is compatible with ArcGIS for Desktop 10.2.2 and can remain.

Article ID:000012016

  • ArcMap

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