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GIS & Geospatial Technologies: Download ArcGIS Software

This guide provides GIS tutorials, data, books, course-specific GIS guides and other geospatial related information that might be of interest.

ArcGIS Software Download

Download ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Pro: 

ArcGIS Online is a fantastic online mapping platform for most users, but it's just a part of an ecosystem of GIS Software. Both ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Pro are well integrated with ArcGIS Online and allow seamless access and publishing of geospatial data and analysis, directly from the desktop software.

If you have a Windows OS, you can install the ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Pro. If you have a MAC, you will not be able to install these on your local machine. You can check out the UCSD Go Virtual environment or download QGIS. Also see the list of other GIS software tools.

You will find various versions of the software. Download the version you need. Information about what version campus is using will be found in the README document. 

You can download and install both ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Pro on your computer. You can switch between them or you can use them at the same time. You cannot have two different versions of the same platform installed.

ArcGIS Pro License

You must have an account affiliated with the UC San Diego ArcGIS Online Organization ( Once you have created an account inside the UC San Diego ArcGIS Online Organization, you are able to immediately use ArcGIS Pro.

ArcGIS Desktop / ArcMap

Check computer system requirements

  1. Check to make sure your computer meets the system requirements.

Acquire and Activate Authorization Code

  1. Get an authorization code from your professor or the following Academic Software Licensing Form to get an authorization code.
  2. Activate your authorization code at
  3. Log in using your Existing Esri account using the Enterprise Login and your SSO for UC San Diego.
  4. Enter the authorization code and click Activate ArcGIS.

 Download and install ArcGIS for Desktop Student Trial

  1. Download ArcMap from:
  2. Determine the location for the ArcGIS for Desktop software you wish to install and click the Download button. You can also download the Tutorial Data, if desired. (All UCSD Campus computers are currently on version 10.7.1)
  3. Double-click ArcGIS_Desktop_10XXXXXXX.exe (Depending on the version you selected, the file extensions may be different) to extract the installation files.
  4. Locate and run Setup.exe to install ArcGIS for Desktop. The “Complete” installation is recommended.
  5. After the files are installed, the Authorization Wizard will open and prompt you to choose a product to authorize; select “ArcGIS Desktop Advanced (Single Use)” and click continue.
  6. The Authorization Wizard will prompt you for an authorization code; enter your activation code. Follow the prompts and the software will authorize and be ready for use. Note: leave the default option for the software extensions selected; they will be authorized automatically.