Tips & Tricks: ArcGIS Pro and Public Accounts

03-04-2019 10:55 AM
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Esri Contributor
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The My Esri team gets a lot of feedback from users who are trying to use their Personal Use copy of ArcGIS Pro, but they can't sign in because they get this error message:

error message when user has ArcGIS public account

The link provided on Learn more has the answer. It points to this helpful document on the ArcGIS Pro pages: Sign-in troubleshooting—ArcGIS Pro | ArcGIS Desktop 

That document explains that this Esri Account is not part of an ArcGIS organization. An ArcGIS public account has limited access to ArcGIS Online and does not allow this user to use ArcGIS Pro.

Anyone can confirm that their Esri Account is a public account by signing in to ArcGIS Online from a web browser. If the URL is, the account is public. An ArcGIS organization account has the form www.<orgname>

MVP Esteemed Contributor

Interesting news for those of us that only use ArcGIS Pro and wanted to get a Personal use copy … hmmm must be missing something … perhaps you need to set up an organization for those without an organization

Esri Notable Contributor

Dan, the personal use license comes with a Creator user type:ArcGIS for Personal Use Program | ArcGIS Desktop Advanced for Personal Use 

So yes, that Personal Use account will have an organization account used to license ArcGIS Pro.  

On the other hand, if the ArcGIS Online user just has a public account (not associated with an organization) it can't be used to authorize Pro.

MVP Esteemed Contributor

Let Michelle Mathias‌ know... I just set up an AGOL account separate from my work account, since I will be retiring in July and will be getting the Personal software for the MVP award.  Not much use if I can't use PRO.  Perhaps the help topic needs clarification or you need to set up an organization

New Contributor II

This is all pretty confusing. I purchased ArcGIS for Home Use and there was no problem authorizing that software. ArcPro, which comes with with ArcGIS for Home, is another story. There are no instructions how to authorize the software. When one encounters the Public Account authorization error, it leaves the user hanging. The user has to resort to searching the ESRI Community to find out what's going on. How about a clear set of instructions for Home Use that explains step by step ArcPro authorization process?

New Contributor II

Hello Jerry

I see you already have a case open with our Technical Support team, the analyst will walk you through the activation process, however, here is the link to the ArcGIS Pro Quick Start Guide for your reference: ArcGIS Pro quick-start tutorials—ArcGIS Pro | Documentation  


New Contributor II

I'm leaving for a few days and will try the information you sent when I get


Thank you.

Jerry M

New Contributor II

Thank you for the link, but until I can get ArcGIS Pro activated, I can't do any of that stuff.

Jerry M

New Contributor II

I will open a case on your behalf so an analyst can assist.

Thank you


About the Author
I am a Business Analyst on the My Esri team. I've worked on My Esri since its inception. I've worked at Environmental Systems Research Institute (or ESRI or Esri) since 1984.