Why is ArcGIS Explorer Desktop so unstable???

09-30-2014 12:33 PM
Occasional Contributor

Almost everyone here in our office has had instability issues with Explorer Desktop  We all have the same issue:


Explorer starts up and we get the splash screen.

At that point we no longer get anything.  I've let it run overnight without getting the UI at all.


Sometimes it helps to reboot.

Usually it requires running a re-install to repair the install.

It takes longer to do a re-install by setting compatibility to Windows 7 and making it run as administrator.


It may run fine for a day and rarely for a week and then it starts all over again.  Once it hangs it usually hangs for every attempt after that.


This is used by a large group of users in the government for running their applications.  So keeping this stable is important for continuing use.


Has anyone else experienced this and what have you done to stabilize this???

5 Replies
Occasional Contributor III

We have had issues with ArcGIS Explorer Desktop for years, and have logged our bug reports and complaints with Esri for the duration.  To date, the issues have not been addressed and we have assumed Esri intends to phase it out in favor of ArcGIS Online.

Occasional Contributor

Thank you Marianne.  Your response just further justifies our movement away from using ESRI and towards alternatives.  I have also (out of professional courtesy) tried to file bug reports.  Even after we recreated the bug the analyst refused to send it to developers....instead trying to show my why my code wouldn't work.  The bug was sent because they were exposing a .NET exception that should never reach production: "NotImplementedException"

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Occasional Contributor III

We are committed to Esri; ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Server, the JavaScript API, ArcPad, and ArcGIS Online/iOS Collector app are all valuable tools in our arsenal, and Esri is more responsive to issues with those products than they are to ArcGIS Explorer Desktop's issues.

ArcGIS Explorer Desktop's underperformance leaves a hole we hope to fill with web-based products including custom applications, ArcGIS Online, and others which we continue to explore.

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Occasional Contributor

We've been using ArcGIS Explorer for several years now. So far, it locks up or bombs for us in fairly predictable ways. The main culprit is that folks are saving their Default base map with a reference to a web service or other data that ArcGIS Desktop can't find. If you delete the file named My Default Map.nmf under the ArcGIS Desktop folder, does that fix the issue? If the program can't find that file, it creates one, and this default map will not have any layers, so it "should" load quickly.

I regularly remind my users to not save My Default Map, save their work to some other name, e.g., ParcelsWork.nmf

I too love ArcGIS Explorer and am not sure that AGOL is going to meet our needs for a while.

New Contributor III

I developed an augmented version of ArcGIS Explorer for the mapping needs of our Search and Rescue team that makes use of local data and thus a modified default map. One of the things I have done to help mitigate overwriting of that customized map is to make the actual nmf file read only within the Windows properties. That way, it can't be overwritten. Since We constantly tell our people that the first thing they should do when they open AGX is to do a "Save as" to make a new file, I can't tell you if making the default map nmf file read only would produce errors if used for any length of time. But it sure makes sure it doesn't get overwritten!