Student Software Before you install ArcGIS for Desktop

Follow these steps...

  1. Decide if you would like to download/install ArcMap/ArcCatalog or ArcGIS Pro. You may wish to ask your instructor and review Esri's getting started document to help make this decision
  2. Check the system requirements to make sure your computer meets the minimum hardware and software requirements.
  3. If your computer passed the system requirements test, click here to send an e-mail to requesting a 1-year activation code.
    1. Use your ISU e-mail to send this request
    2. Provide your Bengal ID in the message.
    3. You must indicate your understanding that this software can only be used for education and cannot be used for commercial or for-profit purposes.

    Please allow up to five(5) business days to receive your authorization code.
  4. Once you have received your authorization code in an e-mail reply, visit Esri's student software website to begin the process of activating and downloading your ArcGIS for Desktop Student software. Click here for step-by-step instructions
  5. If necessary, download the ArcGIS Uninstall Utility and uninstall previous versions of ArcGIS Desktop or Server. The software cannot be installed on a computer that has a previous version of ArcGIS for Desktop or ArcGIS for Server installed. It's OK if the computer has ArcGIS Explorer installed.
  6. If necessary, install the Microsoft .NET Framework (version 3.5 Service Pack 1 or higher).
    1. If you are unsure if you have the .NetFramework installed, you can download a .net Version detector from the following site -
  7. 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.
  8. Double-click ArcGIS_Desktop_10XXXXXXX.exe (Depending on the version you selected, the file extensions may be different) to extract the installation files.
  9. Locate and run Setup.exe to install ArcGIS for Desktop. The "Complete" installation is recommended.
  10. 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.
  11. The Authorization Wizard will prompt you for an authorization code; enter your activated 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.

Note: Support for the ArcGIS Desktop Student Trial is available at