how to remove external links from excel

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Please help me with following task - I try to remove external links from excel:

Data==>Edit Links==>break link

It does not work - still I have that external links in the list. Even I close and open excel file - still have it.

26 Replies



I followed up with and 

 - installed Kutools, however I can not remove external links with that tool. I cnan ot find any links with search option " [ ". 


Extarnal links still are there and when I open workbook, it every time asks me to update those links, which is very annoying and does not look proffessionals to clients...



The industry standard tool for links can be found here: FindLink

I have the same problem. There is a link to an external file that the break-link command will not break. I have been through every thread I can find on the subject, including the FindLink utility, but to no avail.

It seems that there are some kinds of links that, once created, cannot be removed.

Yeh, unfortunately ;/ I had to recreate all excel files .. no solution to that so far ..

Did you try FindLink I referred to earlier?

Yes, I tried FindLink. but, it does not see the link.  Though I can see the link destination listed in the "Edit link" .  I tried the "break link" function, but it has no effect.

Can you perhaps send the file to me?
i n f o AT j k p - a d s . c o m
Please include a link to this page with your message so I know what the email is about :-)
I sent a private email to Jan Karel, but thought others might benefit to see what I discovered.
Before sending the excel to you, I decided to remove a lot of stuff that I was sure would not be the issue, since they were recently added.  But, as I did so, I realized that I could do so incrementally, and perhaps narrow the problem down.   I continued until I only had one cell that caused the problem.  It was a Data Validation cell. The FindLink.xla program could not find it.
Perhaps the creator of FindLink.xla could modify it to see these types of links.  But if not, I wonder if a program could be created that would systematically delete portions of a spreadsheet.
1) Save as Test.xls
2) Delete half the tabs , save as Test1
3) Open Test1, and see if the error occurs.
   a) if no error, close Test1, then re-open Test and delete the other half of the tabs. 
   b) If error, delete half of the remaining tabs.
4) Repeat the above cycle, until only 1 tab  remains.
5) Do a similar process for the rows of the spreadsheet, then the columns, until only one cell remains, which is the problem cell.
There would need to be some method to keep track of the cells, so that at the end, it could say what tab and cell reference was a problem.  I also imagine there may be multiple cell reference problems.  So, I guess my steps a and b, both Test.xls and Test1.xls files should be checked for the external reference error.
Attached is the problem spreadsheet. It is empty, with just cell A1 containing the external data validation link.  Unfortunately, I didn't work on a way to keep track of which cell it was.  At least I know which tab.
-Joe Dunfee

I just realized that I had failed to save the version, where I had isolated the data validation cell that had the external link.  One of the challenges with saving so many versions, as I gradually deleted more and more.

So, I am not sure which of the 4 remaining tabs it was, nor the cell itself.

Findlink did find the link in the data validation settings of a cell. It was also capable of removing that link.

Then perhaps the FindLink program is not working properly on my system.  I have it installed as an add-in, and ran it on this file.  I also have some Visual Basic that I use regularly, so I know macros are fully enabled.


Is there anything you know of that will prevent FindLink from working properly?



No, not that I know of. Perhaps you can contact the maker (Bill Manville) about this (via his website as shared earlier)

I had the same problem. Break Links did nothing. In the end I saved the file in the 97-2003 version (which stripped out the links as they weren't supported) and then converted back.

Odd. Links have been supported by Excel as far back as version 4 (1990), so I am surprised this worked for you.

Beats me. I had a link to another file which 'break links' wouldn't touch so I saved then back again and no more file link :)

I expect the link was in a feature that is not supported by that Excel version then. Perhaps in formula in a table which isn't visible. What you might try is to add a new empty row to each table in your original workbook and then do a search for .xls.

@Jan Karel Pieterse   This is awesome!  I struggled with mine for 2 days and never suspected Data Validation as the culprit.  Thank you so much!!

You're welcome.