Problem: ArcMap does not open


When trying to open ArcMap, the application hangs and doesn't open.


This may be due to a corrupt Normal.mxt file or registry settings.

Solution or Workaround

  • Delete the ArcMap template file 'Normal.mxt' or rename it.
    • On Windows 2000 & XP:
      C:\Documents and Settings\<user_account>\Application Data\Esri\ArcMap\Templates
    • On Windows NT:
      C:\WINNT\Profiles\<user_account>\Application Data\Esri\ArcMap\Templates

      The file will be recreated the next time ArcMap is started.
  • Edit the registry.
    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.
    1. Open the Registry Editor.
      1. Click Start > Run.
      2. Type 'regedit'.
      3. Click OK.
    2. ​​Browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > ESRI.
    3. Delete the ArcMap folder.
    4. Close the Registry Editor.
    5. Start a new empty ArcMap document.

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