You can set the basemap and spatial reference that each new map or scene has by default. When you create a new map or scene, it automatically has the settings you specified. On the Options dialog box, on the Maps and Scenes tab, you can set the options described in this topic.
For basemaps, you can choose between the default basemap from your ArcGIS Online organization account and a different basemap from the gallery or your organization. Or, you can specify that maps and scenes be created without a basemap.
The default extent of new maps and scenes is the Default basemap of your organization option. This option is defined by settings of the ArcGIS Online organization account. For example, your organization has set the extent to your local area. If you are signed in to ArcGIS Online while using ArcGIS Pro, any new map or scene uses the extent defined for your organization. If you are not signed in, the first layer added to the map or scene defines the extent for local scenes and maps. Global scenes will always show the whole earth.
The Make newly added layers visible by default option controls layer visibility when you add a new layer to your map. This option is enabled by default. In some cases, it can be useful to turn off this option, such as when the layer you want to add contains many features or may take a long time to display. Zoom to your area of interest before turning on the visibility of the layer in the Contents pane.
You can set the coordinate system that maps and local scenes have by default. By default, the Use spatial reference of the first operational layer option is enabled. This means the first layer that is not a basemap sets the coordinate system for maps and local scenes.
You can use the Choose spatial reference option to specify a different default coordinate system. Note that the coordinate system setting does not apply to global scenes, because they always use WGS84.
You can also choose to enable the Warn if transformation between geographic coordinate system is required to align data sources correctly option, which displays a warning if your data will be transformed to fit your specified default coordinate system.
Ground elevation surface
You can set the elevation source that new global and local scenes have by default. By default, the Default elevation service of your organization option is enabled. This means the default service of the active portal is used. The default Esri elevation source for this surface is a cached elevation image service, WorldElevation3D/Terrain3D.
You can use the Use custom elevation source option to specify a local elevation source such as a raster dataset or TIN dataset, or specify a web elevation layer from the active portal.
You can also choose the No Elevation Source option, which removes the elevation source from any new scene and sets the elevation at 0. While no elevation source is in the scene, the ground surface is still available to adjust the Surface Color.
These settings do not apply to the system templates Global Scene and Local Scene when ArcGIS Pro is first opened. Use Start without a template to see the updated default settings.