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Error: Could not edit any of maps layers. Check to see that the spatial reference of the map.

Error Message

This error occurs when attempting to start editing a data layer in ArcMap:

Could not edit any of maps layers. Check to see that the spatial reference of the map and the data are the same.

Cause

Two possible causes:

1. The data frame is displaying its layers in a projection that is not the same as the projection of the data.

2. The data is a coverage with preliminary polygon topology.

Solution or Workaround

  • For cause 1:
    1. Right-click the data frame in the ArcMap table of contents (the default name is 'Layers').
    2. Select Properties.
    3. Switch to the Coordinate Systems tab.
    4. Click Clear.
    5. Click OK.
  • For cause 2:
    Run CLEAN or BUILD on the coverages in either ArcToolbox or Workstation ArcInfo.
    Note:
    Coverages with preliminary topology are displayed with a red polygon icon in ArcCatalog and in the data browsers of ArcMap and ArcToolbox.