I have an ArcGIS Desktop license which I use with ArcPy & Python for my workflows.

However, to my knowledge, I can only run ArcPy with Python 2.x, as only ArcGIS Pro is compatible with Python 3.x.

Also, ArcPy integration only works when ONE version of Python is downloaded on my system. Ideally, I could create a Python 2 environment (with ArcPy) then a Python 3 environment (with eg. TensorFlow) but ArcPy doesn't seem to work in this set up.

If this is correct, then is there any way for me to have both a Python 2 environment with ArcPy, then a separate Python 3 environment?

  • 1
    Does this answer your question? Using ArcPy and ArcGIS API for Python together? Commented Nov 5, 2021 at 12:56
  • 4
    Pro has a different ArcPy, but most of the 2.7 ArcPy is the same in 3.x (differences are mostly in mapping canvas access, since Pro uses a different engine). I have both ArcPy installations on most of my machines. ArcGIS Server allows both 2.7 and 3.x installs in one 10.6+ install.
    – Vince
    Commented Nov 5, 2021 at 14:09
  • Thanks Kadir & Vince. Okay sorry if im missing understanding. Whenever I try to get both Python 2/3 installations this blocks my basic ArcGIS license. As this post below discusses. ---- gis.stackexchange.com/questions/351832/… --- You seem to have a way round this! But I cant figure it out. Thanks for the help.
    – Mikew
    Commented Nov 5, 2021 at 14:50
  • 3
    You can absolutely have BOTH a Pro + ArcMap based Python environment (multiple) -- are you asking how can you target your script to one environment or the other?
    – KHibma
    Commented Nov 5, 2021 at 17:36

1 Answer 1


To get both Python 2.x (comes with ArcMap) and Python 3.x (comes with ArcGIS Pro) working on a machine which is having any difficulties I do this:

  1. Uninstall both ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap
  2. Reinstall both ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap

I am no expert in Python installs so I try to keep them simple, and this method sets the paths to a state enabling both Python 2.x to work with ArcMap and Python 3.x to work with ArcGIS Pro.

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