Home Forums RORB GIS plug-ins arcRORB plugin install for all users silently.

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    Is anyone able to inform me as to what I woudl need to do to install the arcRORB addin silently for all users of a machine? I need to do this via script for many labs of student machines.

    Thanks in advance,



    Hi Matt

    I think this is a question for ESRI as the developers of ArcGIS rather than us. I’m sure it is possible to do this, but unfortunately can’t advise of the details. This web page might give you some clues to start thinking about: http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.3/guide-books/python-addins/sharing-and-installing-add-ins.htm


    Matt Scorah

    Hi Matt,

    I agree with Dave’s comment that you may have to follow this one up with ESRI. ArcMap has very limited options for silent install of add-ins, and they both have issues that make them not straightforward.

    As far as I know, there are two options:
    1) Place the .esriAddIn file in the folder location that ArcMap searches when it opens. The problem with this is that the directory is “C:/Users/<username>/Documents/ArcGIS/AddIns/Desktop<version number>”, so you can’t use this method to install for all users
    2) AddIns can be installed from a shared network location (this is documented in the installation section of the ArcRORB manual). Setting the network location to look in is usually done in the ArcMap interface, but it can be done by editing the registry. I can’t offer support on this approach (nor do I recommend it unless you are *very sure* you know what you are doing), but the relevant registry key is \\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\\Wow6432Node\ESRI\Desktop<version number>\Settings\AddInFolders.

    Sorry I don’t have a better answer, but this is a limitation with ArcMap so we can’t do much about it. Good luck!


    Hello again,

    With the guidance above I have managed to convince ArcGIS Desktop to use a common location for the Add-In. As our student machines do not have persistent User Profiles, the My Documents location is deleted on reboot. Students do not have a redirected or Roaming document storage location apart from OneDrive. Thus, in order for the Add-In to be discoverable by ArcGIS Desktop, I moved the Add-In to the C:\Users\Public\Documents\arcGIS folder and changed the ArcGIS XML file that points to the Add-Ins locations. This XML file can be found in c:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.6 and is called AddInFoldersList.xml. If I add the Public Documents path for the Add-In to this file and copy the Desktop10.6 folder structure to the Default user profile then all subsequent users will have the add-in available.
    This may also be of assistance to those that are Virtualizing ArcGIS Desktop for their users.

    From a silent install perspective it is a little trickier. You can either copy the extracted add-in and folder structure to the Default user profile on all your targets and amend the AddInFoldersList.xml or simply clobber what is in place. This is probably not something you would do for your staff if they already have added their own Add-Ins folder locations. With some Powershell scripting though, you can simply add the entry into the XML.

    Hope that was helpful,


    Matt Scorah

    Interesting, I didn’t even know there was an XML file there with that info! Thanks for posting your solution.

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