Configuring ArcGIS on a Mac

Configuring ArcGIS on a Mac


ArcGIS Software is not designed for Mac Computers and can only be accessed through a Windows client. Boot Camp and VOAL (Virtual Online Assistant Lab) are the easiest two ways to access any ArcGIS Software on a Mac Computer and here is a comparison of the two options.


The TAMU VOAL is a Virtual Open Access Lab that allows you to remotely access a Texas A&M Computer while not being on campus. This client runs very smoothly, doesn’t take up much space, and is very easy to switch back and forth between Mac and Windows Clients, but one of the downsides of VOAL is that since you are remotely accessing another computer, your flash drive will not work. To work around this trouble, save all your work to your Texas A&M Google Drive and make sure you save often!

Click this link for Step-by-Step Instructions on how to download VOAL to your Mac

*Note: As of August 2020, ArcGIS Pro and ENVI are only available in the “Geosciences” VOAL instances.


Boot Camp is a free utility that assists users in installing Microsoft Windows operating systems to their Mac Computers and it is pre-installed on every Mac (post-2006). However, compared to VOAL, Boot Camp is very slow, requires you to reboot your computer every time you want to switch interfaces, requires a lot of downloading space, doesn’t have any Arc Software downloaded,and you need to connect to the Texas A&M Wifi or VPN if you want to use the Texas A&M ArcGIS Licenses. However, you are able to directly access a USB drive if that is a priority to you. To access Boot Camp, Quit all open applications and search “Boot Camp Assistant” in your search icon at the top right of your screen and fill out all of the necessary Admin credentials. 

Once you download Boot Camp, complete the steps from the Configuring ArcGIS Pro and/or Configuring ArcMap FAQs to get the software installed and running