Installation and setup

The ArcGIS for Windows Mobile installation program allows you to install the Mobile Project Center (MPC), field applications, and geoprocessing tools all at the same time or separately, as described in the following sections. From Esri Customer Care Portal (, you can download the installation program or, in some cases, request that media be shipped to you. You must ensure you have system administrator privileges to run the installation. For additional installation instructions, see Installing ArcGIS for Windows Mobile.

Installing the MPC and/or the mobile geoprocessing tools

Typically, you want to install MPC and the mobile geoprocessing tools on the machine where you have ArcGIS for Desktop. This machine will then allow you to prepare map data and author mobile projects. Follow the instructions in Installing ArcGIS for Windows Mobile to install MPC and the mobile geoprocessing tools.


The mobile geoprocessing tools can work with ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop and ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop.

If you don't have a plan to leverage ArcGIS Server or ArcGIS Online for organizations in your mobile solution, you will need to install the mobile geoprocessing tools on your machine. The mobile geoprocessing tools allow you to create mobile cache from your mobile map and to later check-in all field data changes to your back-end database.

When the installation completes, no software authorization is required. You can start creating mobile projects with MPC.

Installing field applications

ArcGIS application running on Windows Mobile devices

If your field crew use Windows Mobile devices in the field, you need to install the ArcGIS application on their Windows Mobile devices before they can start field operations. There are a few ways to install the field application on these devices. The following section explains each of these options.

Installing at the end of ArcGIS for Windows Mobile installation

If your device is connected to your desktop via ActiveSync (XP) or Windows Mobile Device Center (7/Vista) when you are installing ArcGIS for Windows Mobile, you will be prompted to install the field application to the device at the end of the process, as shown below:

Prompt for installing the field app in a Windows Mobile device

Click Yes to start the installation of the field application and finish the installation of other components.

Installing by using a shortcut

Upon the completion of ArcGIS for Windows Mobile installation, you will see a Handheld Install shortcut under ArcGIS for Windows Mobile program group. Make sure your device is connected to your desktop, then start this shortcut from Windows Start Menu > All Programs > ArcGIS > ArcGIS for Windows Mobile > Handheld Install to open the Add/Remove Programs dialog box. As shown in the image below, make sure that the ESRI ArcGIS and Microsoft .Net CF 3.5 boxes are checked, then click OK.

Select programs to install or remove

Installing manually

In some cases, you may need to manually deploy the .cab file to your field devices before you install it. For example, on large-scale deployment scenarios, you may want to leverage a third-party deployment system to perform the deployment, including the Windows Mobile application.

Note that by running ArcGIS for Windows Mobile installation media, the .cab file for Windows Mobile will be automatically installed on your desktop machine. This file is located at Program Files(x86) (or Program Files)\ArcGIS\Mobile<version number>\Install folder. The file needs to be deployed to your field workers' devices and the installation procedure completed on the devices.

Whether you are manually copying the .cab file to your devices or using a third-party deployment software, once the file is available on the device, you can tap the .cab file and follow the instructions to complete the installation (or use custom script with third-party deployment software).


If your device has a Secure Digital (SD) card, the installation wizard prompts you to install in main memory or the SD card. Make a selection, then tap Install to proceed.


Any previously installed ArcGIS for Windows Mobile application will be removed before installing the .cab file.

ArcGIS application running on a Windows device

If you plan to use a Windows based tablet or notebook for field work, you can use the ArcGIS for Windows Mobile installation media but select only the Windows application, then follow on-screen instructions to finish the installation.