Advanced Threat Protection - Safe Links

Occasional Contributor

I have an Excel spreadsheet that I maintain for our religious organization. It is full of hundreds if not thousands of hyperlinks. Recently I started receiving this popup notice that reads as follows:


Advanced Threat Protection - Safe Links

Verification of this link failed due to an error. 


All the Hyperlinks in this spreadsheet have been put in here by me and this pop up warning is a nuisance. It doesn't tell me what the error is this really slows down my productivity on keeping the spreadsheet up to date. Is there anyway to disable this this Pop-up or turn this feature off all together?


ATP - Safe Links.png

19 Replies



First of all, it looks as if there might be an error in the URL in the image. It currently reads ""  and I wonder if it shouldn't be "" such that the "error" referred to is simply that it's an invalid URL.


Second, though, do you actually need the hyperlinks to be "active" hyperlinks? Surely you're not always clicking on all of them? If I were in your position, I can see storing the URL for a site, but doing it as a bit of text that can be activated when needed, but otherwise just stored as text. For example, here's a hyperlink in Excel to the page that we're on.



But you can right click on that cell containing an active hyperlink and select "Remove hyperlink" to end with



To remove the active hyperlink just enter a cell that contains it and click on "Remove hyperlink" in this dialog box




The spreadsheet the I continually update is an indexed archive of all the broadcast with all the links to each broadcast embedded into the title of the broadcast in SoundCloud. There is a host of people that are constantly reviewing the archives and updating the web addresses to match the title of the archive. This index of archives go all the way back to 2014. As the people that go through the archives and update the titles and web addresses, they do so at a month at a time. When they are done with all their changes they let me know so I can update the spreadsheet and post it to our community. It is a labor of love to say the least. The spreadsheet is made available in excel and pdf format so people of CoT (Council of Time) can quickly find the archive they wish to listen to, click the link and be immediately taken to the broadcast of their choosing. So, long story short is yes I do click on each link to verify that the link is still valid and if it’s not I update it so that it is. This added step of validation error is an unwanted nuisance to say the least and I would like to disable this functionality of Advanced Threat Protection - Safe Links. Any help in this is much appreciate because I update this every week.

Does anyone know a fix for this? I have the same problem. I have a list of links in an Excel sheet but clicking on any of them produces an error. Very frustrating.


Apparently, in the past one could just go into the privacy options and uncheck the box for inspection of links, but now it requires some insane registry modification.



I have exactly the same error. And no: it does not help to ask whether these links have to be active or not.

It´s a malfunction and I want to know why this is not working.


It´s very annoying: in my case I keep track of vinyl releases with the according link to discogs.


I have exactly the same error. And no: it does not help to ask whether these links have to be active or not.


It may not have helped you. May not even have helped the original poster. It still is a reasonable question to ask, in that it points to what could be (in some instances) a reasonable resolution.


It´s a malfunction and I want to know why this is not working.


And that's a reasonable desire. I'm not the one to ask it of, however. I recommend starting a new thread so that it might attract the attention of a Microsoft tech expert with experience debugging hyperlinks.

@Therrion71  I have the exact same issue as all of you and am stunned by this.  Let me share deeper.


I have been utilizing a spreadsheet for probably 30 years that has many, many important links to web pages, etc.  I have never had this issue until literally a couple of weeks back when my Microsoft suddenly decided that I really needed to upgrade to Windows 11, and I am assuming an updated version of Office 365.  


I have now involved the top tier 3 tech guys at my company and they are bewildered beyond belief at this.   The keep telling me that when that error messages pops up there should be a checkbox, to uncheck, that would make the ATP STOP VERIFICATION within this particular document (Excel).   But there is not one.  they finally realized that I had accidentally gone to Win11.  So when they upgraded one of there laptops to Win11.....the same thing happened!!  That option to uncheck that box is gone.


Did MS do this on purpose?


I have ran several tests.   I have loaded the links into Publisher.....Word......etc.....and they work fine.  I even printed them to a pdf file and they open instantly.   The issue here is solely with the Excel software and how the ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) works.   


Today they came out to my office in person and the tech guy actually ran a complete and thorough online repair of Microsoft Office and it did not fix the issue.


Hey, Microsoft!!!  Will you please fix this glitch for us?????  Please make this right!!!


I have googled this thing to death, as have our tech support staff, and literally everything you find involves much older versions of Windows and MS Office.   So it is all "old news" and cannot be used.  I found an article on the MS website that got very deep involving changing and editing in the registry files and they told me not to do it.  Too dangerous.


If anyone can figure this out that would be great!




so you are posting your "solution" although you admit that it might not help and suggest that the others open a new thread so it gets more attention.... interesting point of view...



It's the point of view of someone who's been around a while, tries to help when he can, even succeeds at time, admits when he can't, and generally avoids making snarky comments. I commend that approach.

Have you ever manage to get this fixed?

It's been a year since this error first appeared for me. I tried repairing Office. Nothing. WTF, Microsoft?
No still have to drudge my way through this garbage… Microsoft has been silent…!!

I, too, am experiencing this issue in both Excel and Word. The problem has only started affecting my workgroup in the last month or so. Workbooks that worked just fine in pre-2023 days are now showing this dialog. Sometimes just momentary and others it "locks" Excel until you either "Cancel navigation" or "Skip verification". I am currently running


Microsoft® Excel® for Microsoft 365 MSO (Version 2211 Build 16.0.15831.20220) 64-bit


Microsoft® Word for Microsoft 365 MSO (Version 2211 Build 16.0.15831.20220) 64-bit

best response confirmed by Therrion71 (Occasional Contributor)



I thought I would update everyone from my post prior.


I engaged the help of two of our top IT experts at my company.  They talked with other "experts" and in the end they came back with....."Sorry, but we cannot figure this one out."   


The odd thing is that this does NOT affect other MS programs or apps.   I have tested this over and over and it works just fine in Word, Publisher, or even PowerPoint.  No problem opening up an active hyperlink.  Heck, I can even print my SPREASHEET in Excel over to an Adobe PDF and guess what?  That opens flawlessly without the delays! No errors.


This is ONLY happening in Excel and ONLY since that last big update they had for Office 365.


I am learning to just live with it and hope that one day down the road MS figures this out and does fix it.  But when all these big shots and experts with Microsoft and Excel specifically.....can't figure this out?    I don't have a lot of hope left on this fix.   But I sure wish someone from MS would pay attention to this and figure it out.



Update… I purchased a new Laptop and moved over all the files that I wanted to keep through One Drive onto the new laptop and problem has disappeared for me. Thank you Lord!!

Thanks, Therrion! That is awesome news and I am truly happy for you. Unfortunately, I have a newer laptop that is awesome and am not willing to try that. But let me share this, too.

I sent one of my Excel files to one of the top IT guys here. I asked him to open that up at that time. He initially told me that when he clicked a hyperlink, it opened just fine with no errors. But then he asked me what version of office 365 and Windows I was running over here. I told him. He said, "Hmmm....yours is more updated than mine. I guess I need to do the Windows update. " Then he did. As soon as he did the windows or office update....BAM! He then experienced the same issue. Funny, huh?

Therrion....I have a question. Would you be open to running a test with me? What I was thinking is if we privately did this, of course. I would be willing to send you one of my Excel files and then I would be curious if you opened up that file....if the links would open up just fine. But then, a reverse test. Maybe you could create a brand new Excel file and either hand-type one or two of the hyperlinks in there, or also try copying and pasting in a couple. Then you could email that back to ME and see if that would work on my end. Because maybe this has something to do with the CREATION of the doc. I obviously tried this on my end here, by creating a new Excel file, and both hand typing in a hyperlink, and also copying and pasting. But neither of those options worked. And I don't know what the rules are here for sharing an email address. But I would be more than happy to do that if you would be willing to give this a shot.
Therrion....I am sorry, but I just thought of one more thing. Yes, you bought a new laptop. But did you make sure that both the operating system and your versison of office 365 were both 100% up to date with MS? Just curious.


Yes when I installed all the programs it updated to the most current version of MS 360.

Sure thing. You can send me an email at therrion71 over at Yahoo dot com

@Therrion71 @Mark_Claessens Did you manage to solve the problem?

@Roman_Mikishko Hello Roman, yes I managed to solve the issue. Not sure if it will work for you or anyone else but is worth a shot. I feel like this is a corruption in the actual Microsoft programming of Excel and the way I was able to get this to work was to completely uninstall excel and reinstall the program. Let me know if this works for you.