We have an ArcGIS license manager on a server on our network. We have to occasionally take the server down for maintenance, so we have the production team borrow their licenses so that they can keep working.

ArcMap will not launch using the borrowed license while still connected to the network (from which the license server has been removed). The program just hangs on the splash screen. However, if we unplug the machines from the network ArcMap launches without issue. If we then plug the machine back into the network with ArcMap launched, several features of the software operate more slowly (e.g. accessing feature properties). We need to maintain a network connection in order to work with data located on another server.

Is ArcMap ignoring the checked-out license because it thinks it can still find the license manager on the network?

Is there a way in which we can check-out the licenses and use them without having to disconnect from the network?

NOTE: The solution provided by @PolyGeo worked. I did end up having to have ESRI reauthorize our licences as we had to reinstall the License Manager while all licenses were borrowed, which ended up causing a conflict.

  • This sounds like an internal time-out issue. Unplugged, the machine can't reach anything and quickly finds this out. Plugged in, it tries to contact the server and must wait for whatever server timeout allowance is set to pass as it tries to contact the server that isn't there and won't respond before continuing. I see there is some discussion of this out there: geonet.esri.com/thread/64649
    – Chris W
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 22:27

1 Answer 1


This is advice I offered at https://geonet.esri.com/thread/64649 because I have come across it a couple of times.

If you have borrowed a license and have left the web address of the license server you are borrowing from in the ArcGIS Administrator, then maintained access to the web but no longer to the license server, then ArcMap appears unable to start.

Three ways around this appear to be:

  1. Make the license server reachable again
  2. Disconnect access to the web
  3. Open ArcGIS Administrator and remove the name of the license server

It sounds like 3. may be an option for you.

  • Option 3 did it. During maintenance I'll set the borrow time to 30 days (just in case the server is down for an extended period of time) and then have everyone clear the path to the license server from their ArcGIS Administrator.
    – Radar
    Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 16:30

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