How to control the startup message about updating linked workbooks in Excel

Note

Office 365 ProPlus is being renamed to Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise. For more information about this change, read this blog post.

Summary

This step-by-step article describes how to control the startup message about updating linked workbooks in Microsoft Office Excel.

When you open a workbook that contains links to cells in other workbooks, you may receive the following message: This workbook contains links to other data sources. If you update the links, Excel attempts to retrieve the latest data. If you don't update, Excel uses the previous information. You can click either Update or Don't Update.

By default, Excel displays this message. You can control if it appears, and if Excel updates the links manually or automatically. To make these changes, use the following methods.

Note

  • Regardless of the options that you choose, Excel still displays a message if the workbook contains links that are not valid or links that are broken.
  • To find information about the links in a workbook in Excel 2010 and later versions, select Edit Links in the Queries & Connections group on the Data tab.

Additionally, the following options apply only when the workbook that contains the basic data is closed. If the workbook with the basic data is already open when you open the workbook that contains the links, the links are updated.

Automatic update and no message

To suppress the message and to automatically update the links when you open a workbook in Excel, follow these steps:

  1. Select File > Options > Advanced.
  2. Under General, click to clear the Ask to update automatic links check box.

Note

  • When the Ask to update automatic links check box is cleared, the links are automatically updated. Additionally, no message appears.
  • This option applies to the current user only and affects every workbook that the current user opens. Other users of the same workbooks are not affected.

Manual update and no message

If you are sharing this workbook with other people who will not have access to the sources of the updated links, you can turn off updating and the prompt for updating. To suppress the message and leave the links (not updated) until you choose to update them, follow these steps:

  1. In Excel, select Edit Links in the Queries & Connections group on the Data tab.

  2. Click Startup Prompt.

  3. Click the Don't display the alert and don't update automatic links option.

    Warning

    If you choose not to update the links and not to receive the message, users of the workbook will not know that the data is out of date. This choice affects all users of the workbook. However, this choice applies only to that particular workbook.

To update the links manually, follow these steps:

  1. Select Edit Links in the Queries & Connections group on the Data tab.
  2. Select Update Values.
  3. Select Close.

When the Don't display the alert and update links option is selected on a workbook, the selection is ignored. If the person opening the workbook selected the Ask to update automatic links check box, the message appears. If not, links are automatically updated.