ArcGIS Desktop Software

ArcGIS Desktop is available for download to any Stanford student, staff, faculty, or sponsored affiliate (with a SUnet ID).

Note: for installation on Stanford affiliated computers only and only to users who possess a valid SUNet ID. Software and data provided under this agreement are to be used for instruction, research, and administrative purposes only. Use of the licensed programs for profit, private gain, or other commercial use is prohibited.

ArcGIS 10.5.1 Installation Batch Files

The Stanford Geospatial Center has created a set of batch files (.bat) to automate and simplify the ArcGIS installation process. The following 4 videos illustrate the basic steps to installing ArcGIS 10.5.1 (Note: The videos were created for 10.4.1, but the process of using our installation batch files remains the same).

If you already have ArcGIS 10.1 or higher installed, DO NOT manually uninstall it. ArcGIS 10.5.1 will install directly over these previous versions. If you have 10.0 or earlier installed you will need to uninstall it before running the batch file.


You must have administrator rights to your computer. If you have previously installed software on your machine you are probably ok. If not, you may need to talk to your staff IT person.

You must be logged into the Stanford Network. Connecting through the Secure WiFi, LAN or Stanford VPN service (note: installing across VPN may take longer, and you cannot reach the ArcGIS License Server through VPN. If you need to license the software from a remote location, please contact

You must have a valid SUNet ID and password. ArcGIS Desktop is licensed for any Stanford Affiliate to install on any machine, but you must be able to authenticate on our network to install the software

Step 1: Disable UAC (so you don’t have to babysit the installation).

  • Click on the Start button, at the bottom left corner of your Windows 7 taskbar and enter the Search Term “UAC”.
  • Click on "Change User Account Control Settings”.
  • Move the slider all the way to the bottom and click OK.
  • Reboot you computer.

Step 2: Log into the Stanford Geospatial Center’s Geowares shared folder.

  • Open Windows Explorer and type \\sul-gislab\geowares\ into the address bar and hit Enter or click the arrow.
  • Wait for the Login Prompt and enter your SUNetID as WIN\mysunetid (note the WIN domain prefix and backslash) and password.
  • Click OK and wait for the shared folder to connect.
  • Note that if you are already logged into the Stanford WIN domain on your machine, you may not be promted to log in again.

Step 3: Run the batch installer.

  • Browse to the \\sul-gislab\geowares\Esri\ArcGIS_Desktop_10.4.1 folder for the latest version of ArcGIS Desktop
  • Double-click on the batch (.bat) file and click Run when prompted
  • Wait for the installation to complete and the CMD window to close (typically takes 20-45 minutes, depending on your network connection quality).

Step 4: Verify the installation

  • Start ArcMap from the Start>All Programs>ArcGIS program group.
  • Check that all extensions are enabled at Customize>Extensions.
  • Check that Background Geoprocessing is disabled at Geoprocessing>Geoprocessing Options (It’s also not a bad idea to enable overwrite of geoprocessing operations in the same window).
  • Check that Relative Paths is the default for new Map Documents in Customize>ArcMap Options.

That's it! You've got ArcGIS!


1) Please be sure to unzip the .iso installation files before attempting to install them (you can use a third party extractor such as 7-zip or WinZRAR).

2) Verify that you are using the correct version licensing method (Concurrent or Single Use) for your set up. Please double check the installation instructions provided above.

3) Do not install the ArcGIS License Manager, this will make it impossible to correctly license your copy of ArcGIS. If you do, uninstall everything and reinstall just ArcGIS Desktop.

4) ArcGIS runs on Windows software only. You can run ArcGIS on a Mac with Windows installed via Boot Camp or a virtual machine. Click here for more information on running ArcGIS on a Mac.

5) Students and faculty have access to free or low-cost copies of Microsoft Office and Windows and other software licenses for download on Stanford-owned and personal computers.

If you need any other application from the Esri suite of products that is not available for download on our website, such as ArcGIS Server, CityEngine, ArcInfo Workstation or ArcGIS Mobile, you can order the original installation media at Branner Library. Please use SearchWorks to find the product you are interested in and have the call number ready when you ask at the circulation desk. If you have any additional questions, please contact David Medeiros.

Open Source GIS

GRASS GIS GRASS (Geographic Resources Analysis Support System), is a free and open source Geographic Information System (GIS) software suite used for geospatial data management and analysis, image processing, graphics and maps production, spatial modeling, and visualization.

QGIS A Free and Open Source Geographic Information System. Create, edit, visualize, analyze and publish geospatial information on Windows, Mac, Linux, BSD (Android coming soon).

Carto A web based GIS visualization and analysis platform. Not truly "open source" but does have a functional free account setting as well as special educational accounts for students and faculty.