ArcGIS Pro Installation Instructions

ArcGIS Pro licensing is handled through ArcGIS Online, which all San Francisco State University affiliates can access as long as they have a valid university email address. To get set up with the software you will need to download it and then log in with your SFSU credentials. 

Please note that ArcGIS Pro is not compatible with a Mac operating system and runs on Windows only. You will need to either partition your hard drive using BootCamp (free) or purchase Parallels software ($) if you wish to use ArcGIS on a Mac. 

Step 1: Review Compatibility Requirements

Review the ArcGIS Pro system requirements to ensure the software will be compatible with your computer (for example, make sure you have the Microsoft .NET Framework 6.0 installed and running on your machine)

Step 2: Downloading and Installing ArcGIS Pro

Download the software from SF State's Institute for Geographic Information Science's Box folder

  • Go to the Institute's ArcPro 3.1 Box folder and log in with your SF State credentials prompted (i.e., your 9-digit id number and associated password)
  • Double-click on the ArcGIS Pro installer (the .exe file) to install the software (this may take a bit),
  • After downloading ArcGIS Pro, also download and install any patches that may also be in the Box folder (.msp files).

Step 3: Licensing

Note that you MUST be connected to the internet. ArcGIS Pro is licensed through our ArcGIS Online SF State organization using your SF State SSO credentials (same 9-digit ID you use to check e-mail or your grades). Once you have signed into SF State's ArcGIS Online organization, you will automatically be assigned an ArcGIS Pro license and will be able to use the software. Use the two linked guides below to get up and running:

When updating between an older version of ArcGIS Pro to v. 3.0, you have the option to click on the About ArcGIS Pro tab and choose to update to the latest version, however, note that if you have configured your software with any python dependencies (e.g. Spyder) you may need to uninstall the old version of your ArcGIS Pro software if relic folders have not been successfully overwritten. *Note if you are taking a class with us at San Francisco State, we encourage you to use the same version of ArcGIS Pro on your home computer that we have available through campus, which right now is ArcGIS Pro 3.1. This will reduce the problems you encounter with lab exercises if you move between working on a home computer and working on university computers or virtual machines. 

Some useful ESRI references you may find helpful:

If you have trouble with installation, ask your SFSU GIS site license administrator for instructions to contact ESRI Technical Support.

It is important to note that ArcGIS Pro does not currently support the use of cloud storage services, such as OneDrive and Google Drive. A guide on how to fix/avoid issues caused by OneDrive can be found here.

ArcGIS Desktop or ArcGIS Pro will not run on an Apple Macintosh computer without additional software. To use it on a Mac, you must be running Windows. There are several options for running Windows on a Mac:

  1. Create a dual boot setup using Bootcamp (Free)
  2. Set up a virtual machine using Parallels (available at a discounted rate for students enrolled in a degree program)

NOTE: Only Mac devices with Intel processors will be able to run ArcGIS Pro, even with Parallels or Bootcamp installed. Contact if you need help determining your device's processor type prior to installing these programs.

1. Setting up a dual boot system with Bootcamp (Free)

Bootcamp allows users to choose to work in either Windows or MacOS upon startup. While you cannot toggle between the two without restarting the computer, files stored in one partition will be available in the other. 

  • We highly recommend you back up the contents of your computer first.
  • Download and install Bootcamp, which is available here: http:/​/​​support/​bootcamp 
  • Download a copy of Windows 10
  • Launch the Bootcamp Assistant. Navigate to the copy of Windows 10 you downloaded. 
  • When prompted, partition at least 25 GB of space for Windows--more if you plan to work with large datasets. 
  • Let the Bootcamp Assistant run and select the new drive you just created to install Windows on. Make sure the size of the drive you pick matches the size that you specified in the previous step to avoid overwriting your MacOS drive. 
  • Once you have Windows set up, install the ArcGIS software you need.
  • To select which drive to boot to when restarting the machine, click on the option key.

2. Setting up a virtual machine with Parallels ($49.99 as of Aug 2023)

This option is not free, but does allow users to switch between operating systems and access files without having to restart your computer.

  • We highly recommend you back up the contents of your computer first.
  • Note: Windows 10 and Parallels are currently only available through these links for students enrolled in a degree program, and not students in the GIS Certificate Program. Students must be logged in to access discounts, etc.
  • Download Parallels Desktop for Mac (Choose "More Options" on the "On the Hub" web page).
  • A different virtual machine option is to download and install VMWare. There is no SFSU student discount for this software, but VMWare can be purchased directly from the manufacturer here.
  • Download a copy of Windows 10
  • Install the Parallels software, open it, and select "New" to create a new virtual machine. Locate the Windows 10 file you downloaded earlier. 
  • Once you have Windows set up, install the ArcGIS software you need.
  • You should be able to access this virtual Windows 10 machine from your desktop--there's no need to restart your computer. 

For graduating students 

Your ArcGIS Pro license:

If you are an academic student who is graduating or you are a CPaGE student who finished taking classes with the GIS Certificate Program, your access (i.e. your license) to  ArcGIS Pro technically ends when the current term’s grades are posted.  If you need more time with ArcGIS Pro to wrap up incomplete classwork or research supporting your studies at SF State, you may consider:

  • asking for a single use license (valid until the university's current contract ends) from your professor or SF State's Esri Site License Administrator sending an email request along with your full name and 9-digit ID, and why you need your student use of ArcGIS Pro to continue


- this comes with a license for ArcGIS Pro and you are your own ArcGIS Online Account Administrator


Your ArcGIS Online content:

If you are an academic student who is graduating, or you are a GIS Certificate Program student who is finished taking classes, your access to SF State’s ArcGIS Online Account (and ArcGIS Pro desktop software - licensed through AGOL) ends when the current term’s grades are posted. This means that you’ll continue to be able to share any links you’ve created for WebMaps or StoryMaps, but you’ll no longer be able to edit your content after that date. If you would like to migrate your content to a different AGOL account to be able to continue editing it, please send SF State’s Esri Site License Administrator an email request along with your full name and 9-digit ID

Note that a “different AGOL account” may be:

- this comes with a license for ArcGIS Pro and you are your own ArcGIS Online Account Administrator OR

  • An employer’s ArcGIS Online account OR
  • Another university's ArcGIS Online account