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Open a project

There are several ways to open an ArcGIS Pro project.

You can create, open, and use many projects at the same time. Each project will open in a separate instance of ArcGIS Pro.

The same project can be opened many times, for example, by different people. However, only one writable copy of the project can be opened. All other copies will be read-only as indicated in the title bar of the ArcGIS Pro application. You can work with read-only projects in the same manner as writable projects, except when you save your changes, you must provide a new file name for your copy of the project (.aprx) and store it in a writable location. If the project you opened was accessed from a read-only location on the network, your new writable copy of the project may still reference read-only geodatabases, toolboxes, and other items stored in the same location as the original project.

Note:

Projects, project packages, and project templates (.aprx, .ppkx, and .aptx files) saved with any version of ArcGIS Pro 1.x can be opened and used by any version of ArcGIS Pro. However, projects saved using ArcGIS Pro 2.x cannot be opened by ArcGIS Pro 1.x. When a project saved with 2.2 is opened using version 2.0, the project will be opened but will be downgraded in a manner appropriate for the previous version of ArcGIS Pro. Project packages and project templates saved using ArcGIS Pro 2.x contains both 1.x and 2.x versions of the project, so the project can be opened by any version of ArcGIS Pro; the appropriate project for the version of ArcGIS Pro you are using will be opened.

Open a recent project

When you start ArcGIS Pro, you see a list of the projects you worked on recently. If you can't see the entire project name or if two projects have similar names, hover over a project: a pop-up provides information—including the project's date and location—to help you decide which project to open.

  1. Start the ArcGIS Pro application.

    The start page appears. The ten most recent projects you've worked on are listed.

  2. Click the project you want to open.

If the project you want to open doesn't appear in the recent projects list, click Open another project and follow the steps described below.

Tip:

If the recent projects list includes projects that no longer exist, right-click the project and click Remove From List.

Switch to another project

Sometimes you have to interrupt your work on one project and perform a task for a different project. You can open another project in a second instance of ArcGIS Pro. Alternatively, you can close your current project and open a new one in the same instance of ArcGIS Pro.

  1. Click the Project tab on the ribbon.
  2. Click Open.
  3. Click the Recent Projects option.

    The ten most recent projects you've worked on are listed.

  4. Click the project you want to open.
  5. Click Yes to save any changes that were made to the project you were working on.

    The project you were working on closes, and the project you clicked opens.

Open a project package from the active portal

When you upload a project package to a portal it can be opened from any computer. You can also open project packages from the active portal that were shared by others.

  1. Go to the Open project page.
    • From the start page, click Open another project or Open an existing project.
    • From the ArcGIS Pro application, click the Project tab on the ribbon and click Open.
  2. Click the Portal option.

    Project packages that are available from My Content in the active portal are listed.

  3. Select the appropriate project package.
    • Click a project package in the list.
    • Click the Browse button. The Open Project dialog box appears. Browse to or search for the appropriate project package. Click the project and click OK.
  4. If you were working on a project and some changes have not been saved, click Yes in the message box that appears if you want to save them.

    The project you were previously working on closes. The online project package is downloaded, unpacked, and opened.

Online project packages are unpacked in the <User Documents>\ArcGIS\Packages folder. Once the project is opened, the unpacked project file (.aprx) appears in the recent projects list both on the start page and on the Windows taskbar.

Act on a notification

Your local copy of the project is linked to the original project package. If the project package is updated on the active portal, the next time you open the project a notification will appear indicating the update is available.

  1. Click the notifications button Notifications to open the Notifications pane.
  2. Hover over a notification indicating a new version of your project is available.
  3. To see what changes have been made, click the more button More button in the corner and click Open Portal Item.

    The page describing the project in the active portal opens in a browser.

  4. Click Update Project.

    The current project closes. The updated project package is downloaded, unpacked, and opened.

The recent projects list on the start page is updated to reference the updated project file. The previous version of the project remains available in the <User Documents>\ArcGIS\Packages folder, and remains in the recent projects list on the Windows taskbar.

Open a project on a local or network computer

If the project you need to work on is not listed as a recent project when you start ArcGIS Pro, you can browse to and open a different project. The project you need to work on may be provided as a project package (.ppkx file).

  1. Go to the Open project page.
    • From the start page, click Open another project or Open an existing project.
    • From the ArcGIS Pro application, click the Project tab on the ribbon and click Open.
  2. Click the Computer option.

    Some well-known locations where projects may be stored are listed.

  3. Browse to the location where the project or project package is stored and select it.
    • If the project is stored in a well-known location, double-click the location to list the projects it contains, and click the project to open it.
    • Click the Browse button. The Open Project dialog box appears, providing access to available drives on the local computer. Browse to and select the appropriate project or project package.
  4. If you were working on a project and some changes have not been saved, click Yes in the message box to save them.

    The project you were previously working on closes, and the project you clicked opens.

Local project packages are unpacked in the <User Documents>\ArcGIS\Packages folder. Once the package is unpacked and the project it contains is opened, the unpacked project file (.aprx) appears in the recent projects list both on the start page and on the Windows taskbar.

Open a project from the file system

The manner in which you open a project from the file system depends in part on your local computer's operating system and your personal preferences. The following list provides a few of the available options:

  • Browse to the location of the project you want to open and double-click the project (.aprx) or project package (.ppkx) file.
  • Search for the appropriate project (.aprx) or project package (.ppkx) file on the local computer. Double-click the file in the search results to open it.
  • If there is a project you work with frequently, create a shortcut to the project or project package file and place the shortcut on your computer's desktop. Double-click the shortcut to start the ArcGIS Pro application and open the project.
  • The operating system may provide you with a list of project or project package files that have recently been opened by the ArcGIS Pro application. For example, if the application is pinned to the Windows taskbar, you'll see the list when you hover over the ArcGIS Pro icon; click the appropriate project or project package file in the list.

If the ArcGIS Pro application is already running, the current project will remain open, and the selected project will open in a new instance of ArcGIS Pro.

Note:

Only project (.aprx) and project package (.ppkx) files can be opened by ArcGIS Pro from the file system. Do not associate other ArcGIS Pro file types with the application and try to open them directly from the file system—they will not open successfully. Start ArcGIS Pro and import a map (.mapx or .mpkx file) to your project to view the map, for example.

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