Error: VBA initialization failed

Error Message

When attempting to open ArcMap, the following error message is returned:

"VBA initialization failed".


The file, gdiplus.dll, exists within the C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\bin directory.

Solution or Workaround

  1. Navigate to C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\bin. Locate gdiplus.dll and rename it to old_gdiplus.dll; this will force ArcMap to use the Windows gdi drivers.
  2. Re-enable Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) in the registry if it was disabled.

    Warning: 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.

    To re-enable VBA in the registry:

    Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ESRI\ArcMap\Settings, double-click the PreloadVBA variable and set the value data to 0 from 1.

    If the PreloadVBA has a value of 0; VBA is not loaded (disabled) when ArcMap starts. If the PreloadVBA has a value of 1; VBA is loaded (enabled) when ArcMap starts.
  3. Open ArcMap.
  4. If ArcMap opens and the VBA Editor is enabled, delete the gdiplus.dll that was renamed in step 1.

Related Information