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Error: ArcMap crashes when trying to add a basemap, and returns Serious Application Error message

Error Message

When adding a basemap to the current ArcMap session, the application crashes and the Serious Application Error message is returned.

Cause

A possible cause is an outdated driver for the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), also known as the video card or graphics card.

Solution or Workaround

Consider the following workaround. If it resolves the issue, to resolve it permanently, consider updating the GPU drivers from the manufacturer, for example, Nvidia, AMD, Intel, etc., or from the manufacturer of the laptop, if it is a laptop PC.

The crash may indicate a failure to initialize the hardware blender for basemap layers. This usually is caused by a failure of the GPU driver on the machine. As such, Esri can’t make any changes that fix it – the problem is occurring in the driver for the GPU.

Turn off hardware acceleration for basemap layers

  1. Go to Customize> ArcMap Options, and click the Data View tab.
  2. Uncheck the box for Enable hardware acceleration for supported layers, and click OK.
When starting a basemap layer for the first time, such as when adding a basemap from ArcGIS Online, a prompt to enable hardware acceleration displays. Check the box for don’t show this dialog again, and click No.