Tool to auto fix broken excel links after migration to SharePoint online

New Contributor

Hi everyone,

 

We are migrating one of our customer's file share the SharePoint online, and we getting big pushback from their finance department, as they have a lot of linked excel files. file link is broken after we test file move.  We know we could change the link to URL. However, it is very hard to go through and change all the link and not impact the end users. 

Just wondering if anyone has similar experience before to share how you overcome this issue. also if you know any good tool can help to auto-fix the broken links.

 

Thanks :)

13 Replies
thanks, Jan

I just have a look at the tool, It is great for fix link for migrating to SharePoint on-premise. the document link of SharePoint online is a bit different it contains a hash, it is a bit hard to use this logic to fix the links.

I will keep looking. Thanks for your help :)
What problems do the hash cause preciesly?

Hi Lei,

 

you can try our tool => ReplaceMagic (check: www.replacemagic.com). In recent months almost 70% of migrations that we are supporting are to SharePoint.Online with all possible documents types (yes, changes in Excel will also work).

 

In case of any questions you can always contact us.

 

Btw. we work natively with SharePoint (you can connect to it directly from ReplaceMagic). More infos: https://www.replacemagic.com/HowToUseSharePoint.aspx

 

BR,

Oliver

We have the same problem, where we have hardcoded links that point to a folder path on a mapped drive letter (L:) in NTFS. It seems like we should be able to "fake out" Excel by migrating the files from the L: drive to SharePoint and then assigning the same exact drive letter mapping for the identical folder path that's now in SharePoint, but Excel is somehow not fooled. Excel complains the linked files can't be found, and then we have to have the user manually update the links anyway -- which is exactly the scenario we were trying to avoid. There are thousands of linked files.

Oliver, we tried your ReplaceMagic tool, but it required that we manually verify the links after they were replaced on a link-by-link basis. That is very tedious when you're talking about thousands of files.

Drive letter mapping in SharePoint Online is much too hard to do, but we have figured out how to do that, thanks to another post we found online (I can share that here if anyone is interested).

@NBS42 

I'd love to hear how you worked around this.

 

Hi NBS42,

why you had manually to check links as if you go to Configuration => Processing there are 2 options to check links:
1. Check does hyperlink exist
2. Check does file link exist

Also in newer versions of software we included under Configuration => SharePoint "Native SharePoint check of broken links" but this will for every link send request through CSOM to SharePoint which will increase risk of throttling which is anyway due to Covid high.

One important point - to get understanding of your links scanning of documents and check if links are broken is completely free.
Hi, Steve.

I think I spoke too soon that we have a solution for drive letter mapping. I think these are the instructions I initially found:
https://www.clouddirect.net/knowledge-base/KB0011543/mapping-a-sharepoint-site-as-a-network-drive

It requires the use of Internet Explorer, which we know to be obsolete software.

We are working on an alternative approach where we hope to push out drive letter mapping via GPO, but that's not fully baked yet.
Hmm. A colleague was using the tool firsthand. I didn't try it myself. Maybe we need to look at again.
If you want we can always setup Teams and do brainstorming together You can always reach us over support(@).replacemagic.com
No need for Internet Explorer. You can go to Classic view of the document library in question (there's a link on the botton-left of the window in my library to do that). After that, you can open the library you want to use as a drive, click on the Library tab at the top and click Open with Explorer.

@Lei Zhou@Lei Zhou

Set the base address for the links in a workbook

 

By default, unspecified paths to hyperlink destination files are relative to the location of the active workbook. Use this procedure when you want to set a different default path. Each time that you create a link to a file in that location, you only have to specify the file name, not the path, in the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.

Follow one of the steps depending on the Excel version you are using:

  • In Excel 2016, Excel 2013, and Excel 2010:
    1. Click the File tab.
    2. Click Info.
    3. Click Properties, and then select Advanced Properties.
    4. In the Summary tab, in the Hyperlink base text box, type the path that you want to use.

Note: You can override the link base address by using the full, or absolute, address for the link in the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.

 

Thanks, Lei. Either the version of Excel that was used to do the linking was super old or the users who did the linking chose to do absolute instead of dynamic path linking. Either way, the link addresses are effectively hardcoded into the Excel files.

If you are suggesting there's a way to update the links in the source files so that they become dynamic, and then when the files are migrated from NTFS to SharePoint, the dynamic linking finds the files in the SharePoint folder paths -- well, that would be cool. Is there a way to do that automagically so a user doesn't have to manually update the links? If a user has to manually update the links, then we would plan to just have them do that on the SharePoint end of things and deal with the pain after the files are migrated. That's a very unpopular thing to ask the users to do.

Thanks for your advice.