Unable To Refresh: We couldn't get updated values from a linked workbook

Copper Contributor


I have set up a SharePoint Team Site where we are utilizing OneDrive for document storage/collaboration.

There are two channels in this site:

1. Employee (General Access for everyone in our team)

2. Management (Restricted Access for Management level staff)


(All references to Excel are the browser based version)


In the Management channel we utilize an excel workbook to track each employee's performance on one master Excel Workbook, each employee having their own dedicated tab in the workbook.


From there in the Employee channel, each individual has a folder to which only they (and Management) may access. In that folder is an Excel Workbook that mirrors their tab on the "Master Excel Workbook", this is being accomplished by setting up links for each cell to communicate with data entered on the "Master Excel Workbook" and provide the employee with real time data on their performance.


Cell Formulas/Links look like this: ='https:/sharepoint.com/sites/TeamName/Shared Documents/1. Employees/Employee X/[Test Employee Spreadsheet.xlsx]Smith, John'!$C$3


The Problem:

When the employee utilizes their folder's excel document they are prompted to "Enable Content" for the Workbook to update. However, they are then given the message "Unable To Refresh: We couldn't get updated values from a linked workbook". When an individual from the Management staff click "Enable Content", the Workbook updates correctly according to changes made on the "Master Excel Workbook" housed in the Management channel.


I assume this has to do with a permissions issue, however, is there a way to enable the employee's workbook to update and reflect changes made on the "Master Excel Workbook", despite all the employees no having access the source document. (Or if I making things to complicated and there is a simpler way to perform a similar function please let me know)


I hope I have explained this in a logical manner, and thank you to anyone who provides assistance.

5 Replies

@Brandon_Johnson I am having this exact same issue but haven’t found a solution. Were you Able to solve it? 

I am having the same issue. We would be interested in options to allow the user to get the updated info from the protected document or even not to alarm the user with the "UNABLE TO REFRESH" message since we update the source files whenever a change is made to the master file so there is really no "updated" value but the message alarms the end user and they try to request permission to the master file and think their file is broken causing a loss of productivity.
I too am having this problem. Also, Stacey Feng MSFT Microsoft Agent and other Microsoft websites mention "Edit Links" and Excel version 2308 has "Workbook Links" which does not have "Check Status" nor shows link status.

It seems like you're encountering an issue with refreshing data from a linked workbook. This error message typically occurs in software like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets when
there's a problem with updating data from an external source. Here are some common steps you can take to troubleshoot this issue:

Check the Connection: Ensure that the linked workbook or data source is accessible and hasn't been moved or deleted. Sometimes, the link can break if the source file's location changes.

Permissions: Make sure you have the necessary permissions to access the linked workbook or data source. If it's on a network drive or a shared folder, check if your access privileges are still valid.

Internet Connection: If the linked workbook is stored online or in a cloud service (e.g., OneDrive, Google Drive), verify that you have a stable internet connection. Sometimes, a weak or interrupted connection can prevent data refresh.

Credentials: If the linked workbook requires authentication (e.g., username and password), ensure that you've entered the correct credentials, and they are up to date.

Refresh Settings: Check the refresh settings in your spreadsheet software. Make sure that automatic refresh is enabled if you want the data to update automatically. You can usually find these settings in the data connection or data source properties.

Data Source Changes: If the structure or location of the data source has changed, you may need to update the connection information in your spreadsheet. Verify that the connection details (e.g., file path, URL) are accurate.

Refresh Method: Experiment with different refresh methods. Some software allows you to choose between a full refresh (retrieving all data) and an incremental refresh (only updating changed data). Try both to see if one works better.

Software Updates: Ensure that your spreadsheet software is up to date. Sometimes, software updates include bug fixes that can resolve refresh issues.

Error Details: Look for additional error details or error codes in the error message. This can provide more specific information about what went wrong.

Support Resources: If you're still unable to resolve the issue, consider reaching out to your software's support or community forums. They may be able to provide more tailored assistance based on the specific software you're using.

By following these steps, you should be able to diagnose and hopefully resolve the "Unable To Refresh" issue with your linked workbook or data source.

This seems long and unnecessary - Try another version of Excel ?

I can update same query files in Excel 2007 but cannot in 2021.  What on earth.  I thought we were suppose to be progressing.  Seems to come and go.  I have turned off all firewall and virus software.