ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop Free Trial

Trial Software Help and Resources

The help and resources provided below will help you get up and running with your trial software:

Before You Start

Download times vary depending on your Internet connection.

Can I download the trial software and the tutorial data at the same time?
Yes. In fact, it is recommended that you use the Download Manager to download the ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop software and Tutorial Data simultaneously (you can download the ArcGIS Data Interoperability, ArcGIS Data Reviewer, and ArcGIS Workflow Manager at the same time as well). However, only one product should be launched at a time when downloads are complete.

Will I be able to work on my computer while downloading the software?
Yes, you can continue to work, including accessing the Internet, without affecting the download.

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Install and Authorize

How do I install and authorize the software trial?
Follow these steps to install ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop trial:

  1. Download and install the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1. This is required to install ArcGIS for Desktop.
  2. Ensure that you have uninstalled any previous versions of ArcGIS for Desktop or ArcGIS for Server before running the setup. Under Uninstall Existing ArcGIS Software, click Detect Conflicts to remove previous versions.
  3. Extract the ArcGIS for Desktop download file and run setup.exe if the program does not launch automatically.
  4. Click Next and accept the license agreement. Choose Complete and click Next. Click Next to accept all default settings, then click Finish.

Follow these steps to authorize:

  1. Select ArcGIS for Desktop Advanced (Single Use), and click Authorize Now.
  2. Verify the software you selected is listed at the top of the box. Click OK.
  3. Select I have installed my software and need to authorize it. Click Next.
  4. Select Authorize with Esri now using the Internet. Click Next. If you do not have an Internet connection on the computer you intend to install the software on, you can authorize the software using another computer that has Internet access or via e-mail.
  5. Enter your personal information (2 panels). Click Next on both.
  6. Enter your 12-character authorization number (EVAxxxxxxxxx), and click Next. You can find your authorization number in the e-mail you received during download.
  7. After the authorization process is complete, click Finish. Authorization typically takes between 30 seconds and 2 minutes.
  8. Click OK to close the ArcGIS Administrator. The software is ready to use.

What do I do if I am unable to install the downloaded file?
If you are unable to install a downloaded file, the download may have been corrupted. Try to download the file again from

Can I use an authorization number from a full, licensed version of ArcGIS for Desktop to initiate a trial?
No. Authorization numbers for trial software are uniquely generated for the trial only.

Using ArcGIS

Starting ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop

To start ArcGIS for Desktop, go to Start > All Programs > ArcGIS > choose ArcMap or ArcCatalog. Note: You won't see ArcGIS for Desktop Advanced in the menu. You will, however, see the applications ArcMap and ArcCatalog applications. ArcMap provides data display, query, and analysis. ArcCatalog provides data management.

Resources and Tutorials

Many tutorials are found in the ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop Help. To perform the exercises in the tutorials, you'll need to install the ArcGIS Tutorial Data for Desktop.

You'll find additional resources, such as what's new, forums, blogs, samples, downloads, and knowledge-base articles, on the ArcGIS Resource Center.

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Common Questions

When does my trial period begin and expire?
Your free trial period begins when you initiate the authorization process and Esri issues your authorization file. If you installed the software but have not authorized it, your trial period has not started.

You can see the expiration information by using the ArcGIS for Desktop Administrator. Click Start > All Programs > ArcGIS > Desktop Administrator > then click on the Availability folder.

The software trial period cannot be extended.

Where can I find patches or updates for the trial software?
You can find patches and updates in the Patches and Service Packs for ArcGIS for Desktop section of the ArcGIS Resource Center.

Why isn't ArcGIS for Desktop Advanced listed in my programs menu?
When you install ArcGIS for Desktop, you get access to the ArcGIS for Desktop applications ArcMap and ArcCatalog.

Is the functionality in the trial different than the functionality in the commercial version?
No. The trial has the same functionality as the commercial version at the same license level. ArcGIS for Desktop can be licensed at the Basic, Standard, or Advanced level with increasing functionality.

What ArcGIS for Desktop extensions are included in the trial software?
The following ArcGIS for Desktop extensions are included with the trial:

*Included as a separate install.

I heard that Esri offers the ArcGIS for Desktop for periods longer than 60 days. Who qualifies for those?
ArcGIS for Desktop Trial is available as:

If I choose to obtain a permanent license when the trial period ends, will I have to uninstall the trial software first?
No. If you purchase a permanent license after your trial period ends, you will receive a new authorization code that will convert your trial software into the appropriate license level you purchase (Advanced, Standard, or Basic). Also, when you purchase a permanent license, you will have access to the Esri Customer Care website to download additional setups (such as license manager) that are part of the permanent license of the software and not included with the trial version.

How do I uninstall the ArcGIS for Desktop Trial?
Use Add or Remove Programs from the Windows Control Panel and select the ArcGIS for Desktop product from the program list.

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