How To: Set ArcView's home directory


Instructions provided describe how to set ArcView's home directory. ArcView uses the system's HOME environment variable as the default working directory and the initial current directory.

An environment variable points to some kind of value. In this case the value is a directory path on your computer. For example:

HOME = C:\temp

ArcView searches the TEMP, CWD, and AVHOME environment variables for a writable directory. If a writable directory is not found, ArcView returns a warning message instructing users to define HOME.

This same method can also be used to point ArcView to a separate Temp directory.


Use one of the methods below to create or change the HOME environment variable.

  1. Set the HOME environment variable through the operating system
For help with setting a system environment variable, see: How To: Edit an environment variable.
  1. Set the HOME Environment variable through ArcView's Startup script
    1. Start WordPad. Click Start > Accessories > WordPad.
    2. Click Open.
    3. Navigate to the location of the ESRI/AV_GIS30/ArcView/Etc folder.
    4. Set File of type to All Documents.
    5. Select the Startup file (the one without an extension).
    6. Scroll to the bottom of the file and place click at the end of the last line.
    7. Press Enter a couple of times.
    8. Copy this text:
' Set System Environment Variable
  System.SetEnvVar("HOME", "c:\GIS_Work")  
  1. Change the second variable to the path designated as the HOME directory.
  2. Click the Save button. If prompted for a file type, select plain text (txt).
Never define the HOME directory within the ESRI program folder. If ArcView must be re-installed, the HOME directory will be deleted, and with it any work.