Need an explanation on Compatibility Checker.


Hi,  I've created a workbook that contains macros and somehow through the process of the book's creation I inadvertently created a link between this and another workbook. I started receiving the External Links error message. To try to fix this I have tried to unlink the source and destination workbooks, however, this isn't working. I searched online on how to break the link. One option was to go through Compatiblity Checker. The result is a long list of issues that have to do with Excel 97 - 2003.  I am running Office 2016 and have the file saved as a template with the extenson .xltm.  I am not understanding why this is an issue because it is my understanding that .xltm isn't the file extention for Excel 97-2003.  This is an extensiive workbook that is going to be used to track the sales of our branch locations. I need to be able to fix this ASAP.  Can anyone please assist?  I would greatly appreciated it.  Thank you. I would attached the file however, the format isn't supported.  I'm not sure how anyone can assist with this if I can't get the file attached for anyone to see.

8 Replies


You can upload the file to a cloud store such as Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox.

Then obtain a link to the uploaded file and paste that link into a reply.

@Hans Vogelaar. Thank you for your reply. Here is the link to the shared file:!AhzfESS2_HcpimOtyyl-olgD4yxA?e=6dUAdd

I downloaded the shared file through the link and now it's not showing the error message. However, the connection to the other workbook is still there.

Here is the link for the New Branch Scorecard workbook is connected to:!AhzfESS2_HcpimT95q42nF12afv_?e=umklzv


Thank you so very much for taking the time in looking into this for me.  I appreciate this very very much. 

Both workbooks should have the sheets unprotected.


Thanks! When I open the template, I get a warning about links.


If I click Edit Links..., I see this:


If I click Break Link and confirm, the link is no longer listed.

I can then save and close the template, Next time, the warning is gone.

@Hans Vogelaar 

Thank you for your response.

This is strange because this is what I get:

       In "Data" tab of ribbon-Connections section-->Edit Links



    Click: Break Link



     Click:  Break Links:

            Popup returns Edit Links window with Source still there:


Do you know what could be happening within my Excel software that would cause this to not break but within yours it does?



I don't know what causes that.


The links are sources of data validation drop downs on the MSR...Log sheets. For example, G17 and H17 on MSR2Log:


THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!!! I went into the Log and set the validation to the correct worksheet withing the workbook. How were you able to drill down to find it was within the validation? Is there something I could have done to have found this out? I'm wondering if there is something else similar to this since I still can't break the link within the book.


I couldn't find any links in formulas or named ranges, so data validation was the next potential culprit.

I ran some VBA code that I have to analyze the data validation rules in the workbook, and that is how I found some rules that refer to the other workbook.

I still have no idea why you cannot break the link while I can do that.

best response confirmed by Michael1105 (Contributor)
@Hans Vogelaar
Thank you again. I figured out how to find the links between both workbooks. They are all within the Logs. I'm going through them now and fixing the data validations. Thank you again. You are a lifesaver!