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Problem: ArcGIS Pro fails to start with a serious application error

Description

When starting ArcGIS Pro, the application fails and returns the following error:

Error:
ArcGIS Pro has encountered a serious application error and is unable to continue.
User-added image

Cause

This is a generic error message that can occur from different causes, however when starting ArcGIS Pro, this error often occurs because the user .config file is corrupted.

Solution or Workaround

Create a new .config file
To locate and delete the corrupted user.config file by following the steps below:

Note:
It may be necessary to enable viewing of hidden folders to view the AppData folder in Windows.
  1. Navigate to the following folder path:
    C:\Users\<USERNAME>\AppData\Local\ESRI\ArcGISPro.exe_Url_usrdyax2a4fbxzcclmgcafuxifk3o351\1.4.0.0\
  2. Delete the user.config file.
  3. Start ArcGIS Pro. 
Rename the ESRI folder
By renaming the ESRI folder to a name other than ESRI, a new ESRI folder is created with a new .config file when starting ArcGIS Pro.
  1. Navigate to the following path:
    C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\
  2. Rename the ESRI folder (for example, to ESRI-old.)
  3. Start ArcGIS Pro.

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