Authorizing ArcGIS single-use products and features

Complexity: Beginner Data Requirement: ArcGIS Tutorial Data for Desktop

If you are upgrading from ArcGIS 10 to ArcGIS 10.1 and haven't terminated authorization of your ArcGIS 10 licenses, you do not have to go through the regular authorization process outlined below because the ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop software will prompt you to upgrade your licenses automatically if you are connected to the Internet. Follow the instructions to complete the license upgrade. For ArcGIS Engine 10.1, start ArcGIS Administrator manually.

To complete the regular authorization process, you will need the e-mail from Esri Customer Service that contains the product authorization information.

  1. Using ArcGIS Administrator, click the desired product folder (Desktop or Engine).
  2. Choose a single-use product.
  3. Click Authorize Now to start Software Authorization Wizard.
  4. Choose the default option I have installed my software and need to authorize it and click Next.
  5. Select Authorize with Esri now using the Internet and click Next if you have an Internet connection.

    If you do not have an Internet connection, select the option Authorize at Esri's website or by e-mail to receive your authorization file.

  6. Enter your personal information and click Next.
  7. Enter your core product authorization number (for example, ESUxxxxxxxxx) and click Next. This information is provided to you by e-mail from Esri Customer Service.
  8. On the next dialog box, if you have extensions to authorize for use, select I have an authorization number for one or more extensions. Enter the authorization numbers for them.

    If you want to authorize other extensions not listed on the main extension panel (for example, Workflow Manager), click Other Extensions, enter the name of the extension and the authorization number provided in the e-mail sent by Esri Customer Service, then click OK.

  9. Click Next. You are given the option to evaluate features for which you haven't entered authorization numbers.
  10. Click Next.

    The information entered in Software Authorization Wizard is sent to Esri Customer Service. When it is validated, licenses are generated and returned to your machine.

If you have selected the website/e-mail authorization option on the second panel in Software Authorization Wizard (step 5), save the generated text file and upload it to Esri's website or e-mail it to

To authorize silently, you will need to use a provisioning file generated from the Esri Customer Service site using the following command from the command line:

softwareauthorization.exe -s -lif <path to the *.prvc file>

License upgrade

Automatic license upgrade functionality has been introduced at ArcGIS 10.1, which allows for a much easier license upgrade process. If your organization is current on maintenance, you can automatically upgrade licenses from 10 to 10.1 without having to reauthorize licenses on your machines. Instead of deauthorizing older licenses and authorizing the latest version, users can convert their existing 10.0 licenses to 10.1 using the one-step upgrade option.

  1. Uninstall ArcGIS 10.0 Desktop without deauthorizing your existing licenses.
  2. Install ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop
  3. On completion of the ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop installation, you will be automatically prompted to upgrade your licenses if 10.0 licenses are already present. Follow the instructions to complete the upgrade process.

Terminating authorization

If you want to remove single-use licenses from your machine, click Support Operations and click Deauthorize. Follow the instructions to remove the core product and any selected extensions from your machine.

To silently revoke all licenses from the machine, use the following command:

softwareauthorization.exe -s -return all

To silently revoke selected licenses from the machine, you will need to specify the ESU numbers for the features you want to terminate. Use the following command:

softwareauthorization.exe -s -return ESUxxxxxxxxxx,ESUxxxxxxxxx