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This question already has an answer here:

I have 16Gb and have installed 64-bit background processing, but ArcMap seems to only be able to access 4Gb. I can use more in total with other programs. Is there a setting somewhere in Windows or ArcGIS that is only allowing it to access 4GB? Thanks.

marked as duplicate by PolyGeo, BradHards, Paul, Chad Cooper, Vince Jul 31 '14 at 11:46

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  • This is really amazing. – mdsumner Jul 31 '14 at 8:42
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See here.

ArcMap (ArcMap.exe) is still a 32bit application and as such is limited to 4GB. The 64 bit background processing addon allows some geoprocessing tools (RuntimeLocalServer.exe) to run in 64bit.

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