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McCasland Maps and Spatial Data: ArcGIS Desktop Education Edition

ArcGIS Desktop

Please note: ArcGIS Desktop is legacy software. If you have not used desktop GIS software before, you are encouraged to use ArcGIS Pro instead. You may also consider ArcGIS Online for more basic mapping needs. Contact with any questions.

That said, OSU students, staff, and faculty, you can access ArcGIS Desktop in two ways, virtually or through direct installation.

If your personal computer is a Mac or otherwise does not use Windows, you should use the virtual option.

If you have a Windows machine, direct installation is probably your best bet.

ArcGIS Desktop in the Virtual Lab

To access ArcGIS Desktop in OSU's Virtual Lab, go to

Next you will choose to either install  the VMware Horizon Client or use HTML Access. If you are using your personal computer and will likely need to use the software more than once, the Horizon Client is a good idea. Otherwise HTML Access will be fine.

When prompted to login, use your OSU email address (including the for your username, and your OKEY password (same that you use for email, Canvas, etc.). Click the green Login button. Next select Virtual Lab and SAS. Once the virtual desktop boots up, you can access all the different available software, including ArcGIS.

ArcGIS Desktop Installation Instructions

A. Before you install ArcGIS Desktop

Check the system requirements to make sure your computer has the hardware and software required for the trial.

B. Download ArcGIS Desktop and Provisioning File.

1.       If necessary, install the Microsoft .NET Framework (version 4.5 Service Pack 1 or higher). If you are unsure if you have the .NetFramework installed, you can download a .net Version detector from the following site -

2.       Locate and download the ArcGIS Desktop software (named ArcGIS_Desktop_10XXXXXXX.exe) using this link (requires Oklahoma State University login). The current version of the main software, as well as the Data Interoperability and Background Geoprocessing addons are available in this folder. Previous versions are available in the folder called Previous_Versions_ArcGIS_Desktop.

3.      Download the provisioning file using this link (Oklahoma State University login is required).

4.       Double-click ArcGIS_Desktop_10XXXXXXX.exe (Depending on the version you selected, the file extensions may be different) to extract the installation files. Click Next to accept the default destination folder (or change it if you want).


5.   Once the installation files are extracted, make sure Launch the setup program is checked, then click Close.


6.  Read through then click I accept the license agreement. Now click Next.


7.  Select an installation type. Complete is the default and recommended choice.


8.    Next you'll confirm the installation location for the program, accept the default, or change it, then click Next. 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.

9.   Leave the Python folder unchanged and click Next.

10. Click Install.

11.  Click Finish once the installation completes successfully.

12.  Next you will be prompted to activate your installation. Choose Advanced (ArcInfo) SIngle Use, then click Authorize Now.


13. Select I have received an authorization file..... Click the Browse button and select the EducationSiteArcGISDesktop_SingleUse....prvc file you downloaded earlier.


14. Click Authorize with Esri now using the Internet and click Next.


15. Accept the defaults on the remaining screens by repeatedly clicking Next.

16. Finally, you should see a message of congratulations. Click Finish and start using ArcGIS Desktop! 

If you encounter issues during the installation process, please email