The Start Editing command is used to edit, create, or modify vector features or tabular attribute information. Start Editing is a core ArcGIS command which cannot be fully disabled; however, there are some cases where users may want to remove the command from the Editor toolbar.
1. Open ArcMap.
2. Navigate to Customize > Customize Mode and leave the dialog box open. The Customize dialog box must be open before proceeding to Step 3.
3. Go to the Editor toolbar and click the Editor menu.
4. Right-click Start Editing and select Delete.
5. In the Customize dialog box, click Close.
6. Save the .mxd as a template in the Templates folder to ensure this setting is available every time ArcMap is opened. Select this template from the New Document dialog box when opening ArcMap the next time.
The Start Editing command is removed from the interface but is still available in ArcMap and can be enabled when required. This workflow does not completely restrict a user from starting an edit session.
An edit session can still be started by right-clicking a layer and selecting the Start Editing command from its context menu. If users want to disable editing, the file can be saved as a tile package. Alternatively, users can open the file using ArcReader or ArcExplorer.