Can't Find Links and Can't Break Links

New Contributor

At work we have a shared file. When I open it I get this message: 


There shouldn't be any links and it's annoying getting the message, so I try to remove them: 


However the option to break the links isn't available. I've even tried searching for the file name in the workbook formulae and found nothing:


Any ideas? 


Thank you

5 Replies

Hello @georgethemarshall !


Have you check the Name Manager ? There is probably a named range which refers to a cell or a range in another workbook. When you try to find an external link with search function, it will look up only to values, formulas, notes and comments in a specific sheet or the whole workbook, but not in Name Manager.


Here is an example :

I have a named range - "WB2_rng_example" - in my workbook which refers to a cell in another workbook - "WB2_example.xlsx" -  (sorry my Excel is in french) : 



if I try to find the external link with search function 



I will have the following error message : 

nb : in english "Microsoft Excel canno't find the data you're searching for"



So, click on "Formulas" pane, then on "Name Manager" and sort by "Refers to". You will probably find the external link.


Please let me know if you don't


Have a good day !






Hi Nicolas

Thank you for your help. I've found the name manager. It has one item in it, but I'm not sure what to do next. When I select it it doesn't give me the option to edit or delete it:




This name range is simply a table in your own workbook (as you can see, Table4 is a table in "Open Direct Vacancies" worksheet, range A2:H62. So this not the external link you are looking for.


First of all, try again to find the external link in your workbook by searching for ".xl" (and not ".xlsm" for example as it could be a ".xlsx" workbook) in the workbook.


There are also other possibilities :
- Are there some buttons in your workbook with macros assigned to it ? If yes, click right on each button, then on "Assign a macro", and check if it doesn't refer to a macro in another macro as the example below


- Are there graphs in your workbook ? If yes, check that it doesn't refer to data in another workbook



- Last solution : Check all the conditional formatting in your workbook ("Home" pane, click on "Conditional formatting" > "Manager rules" and look at the rules (it could refers to another workbook)



I hope that helps




From your screenshot, it says it's Table4 on Open Direct Vacancies so go take out that sheet (move it to a new workbook) and see if the workbook is ok without it. Then re-create it.