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Releases and patches

ArcGIS Pro software releases follow the semantic versioning specification. This specification defines software versions according to a major.minor.patch scheme. Major and minor releases introduce new functionality. Patches address known issues but do not deliver new functionality.

Examples of the specification are as follows:

  • A change from version 2.x to 3.x is a major release.
  • A change from version x.3 to x.4 is a minor release.
  • A change from version x.x.1 to x.x.2 is a patch.

Major releases

Major releases introduce changes that are not backward compatible. These include changes to ArcGIS Pro project files (.aprx) and other document formats, such as project templates, layers, maps, and layouts. Major releases also introduce breaking API changes to the ArcGIS Pro SDK for .NET.

ArcGIS Pro projects that are created in one major release version of the software cannot be opened by versions of ArcGIS Pro from an earlier major release. For example, a project created in ArcGIS Pro 2.x cannot be opened in ArcGIS Pro 1.x. It is not directly possible to save a version 2.x project in a format compatible with version 1.x. For a workaround, see the Project packages section below.

Projects are forward compatible across major releases. For example, a project created in ArcGIS Pro 1.x can be opened in ArcGIS Pro 2.x. However, once the project is saved in version 2.x, it cannot be reopened in version 1.x.

Project packages

Project packages include separate versions of a project that are compatible with all major releases. For example, a project package created from a 2.x project includes both a 2.x version and a 1.x version of the project. The user experience is seamless: when you open the project package, the version that is compatible with your software opens automatically.


Add-ins are neither backward compatible nor forward compatible across major releases. An add-in built for version 2.x will not load in version 1.x. An add-in built for version 1.x will not load in version 2.x. At major releases, developers need to rebuild add-ins using the latest version of ArcGIS Pro SDK for .NET. See What's New for Developers for more information. Users should contact their providers for updated versions of add-ins.

Minor releases and patches

All changes introduced by minor releases and patches are both backward compatible and forward compatible. Minor releases and patches work seamlessly with existing projects.

Minor releases and patches are cumulative. When you install a minor release or patch, the functionality of any minor releases or patches you may have skipped is incorporated. For example, if you update from version x.x.1 to version x.x.3, the update incorporates the functionality of version x.x.2. It is not necessary to perform an incremental update of version x.x.2 before installing version x.x.3.

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