Problem: ArcGIS installation help files fail to open in Google Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer 11


Local ArcGIS installed help (Installation Guide) HTML document (.htm) files do not open if Google Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer 11 are the default browsers. However, the installed help files open in Internet Explorer 10 and earlier versions. The following error is returned when attempting to open the .htm file for ArcGIS 10.3:

Unable to open this help system
Error message

The following error is returned when trying to open the .htm file for ArcGIS 10.2 and earlier versions:
Failed to Open Help File
Error message


Google Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer 11 do not allow xmlhttprequest requests used by the installation help files to access and read local files. Although Google Chrome is listed as a supported browser, this limitation prevents access to index.html, the local help file.

Opening 'index.html' may also fail in unsupported browsers such as Konqueror.

Solution or Workaround

Follow any of these options to access the Installation Guide help content.

Option A:
Open the help content in Internet Explorer 10 and earlier. Copy the URL from Google Chrome and paste it into the supported browser's URL bar.

Option B:
View the help system from the ArcGIS Enterprise website or the ArcGIS Desktop website. Installation guides are available at these locations for all ArcGIS Enterprise and ArcGIS Desktop components. The installation guide content hosted there opens in the system’s default browser.

Option C:
Log in to Esri Accounts (https://my.esri.com) to open the Installation Guide link.

  1. Log in to Esri Accounts.
  2. Navigate to My Organizations > Downloads.
  3. Click View Downloads for desired products.
  4. Click the Additional Information link to access the installed Help content in the system's default browser.
Select Downloads image

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