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


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

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


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:

It may be necessary to enable viewing of hidden folders to view the AppData folder in Windows.
  1. Navigate to the following folder path:
  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:
  2. Rename the ESRI folder (for example, to ESRI-old.)
  3. Start ArcGIS Pro.

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