Managing Link Updates in Excel: A Guide for When Automatic Update is Disabled

Managing link updates in Excel can be a bit of a headache when the automatic update feature is turned off. But don’t worry, it’s not as hard as you might think! The key is to manually update the links by opening the source file before the destination file. This ensures that the link is updated with the most current data. Now, let’s dive into the specifics of how to do this step by step.

Step by Step Tutorial: Managing Link Updates in Excel

Before we jump into the steps, it’s important to understand why managing link updates is crucial. When you have links to external data sources in your Excel file, you want to ensure that the data is current and accurate. By following these steps, you’ll be able to manually update your links, even when the automatic update feature is disabled.

Step 1: Open the Source File

Open the file that contains the data you’re linking to in Excel.

By opening the source file first, you’re ensuring that Excel has access to the most up-to-date information when it’s time to update the link.

Step 2: Open the Destination File

Now, open the Excel file that contains the links to the external data.

When you open the destination file after the source file, Excel will prompt you to update the links. You’ll want to click ‘Update’ to proceed.

Step 3: Update the Links Manually

If Excel doesn’t prompt you to update the links, you can do it manually by clicking ‘Edit Links’ under the ‘Data’ tab.

In the ‘Edit Links’ dialogue box, you can see a list of all the links in your document. Select the link you want to update and click ‘Update Values’ to refresh the data.

After completing these steps, your linked data should be current and accurate. It’s a simple process that can save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run.

Tips for Managing Link Updates in Excel

  • Always open the source file before the destination file to ensure the links update correctly.
  • If you have multiple links to update, consider creating a checklist to keep track of which links have been updated.
  • Regularly check the ‘Edit Links’ dialogue box to ensure all links are working properly.
  • If a source file has been moved or renamed, update the link path in the ‘Edit Links’ dialogue box.
  • Consider setting reminders to update your links periodically, especially if the data changes frequently.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I forget to open the source file first?

If you forget to open the source file first, Excel may not be able to access the most current data, which could lead to errors in your document.

Can I automate the link update process?

If the automatic update feature is disabled, you cannot automate the process within Excel. However, you could consider creating a macro to streamline the process.

What should I do if a link is broken?

If a link is broken, go to the ‘Edit Links’ dialogue box, select the broken link, and click ‘Change Source’ to update the file path.

How often should I update my links?

The frequency of link updates depends on how often the source data changes. If the data changes frequently, consider updating your links more regularly.

Can I update links in multiple files at once?

Excel does not have a feature to update links in multiple files simultaneously. You’ll need to update each file individually.


  1. Open the source file.
  2. Open the destination file.
  3. Update the links manually.


In conclusion, managing link updates in Excel when automatic update is disabled doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a clear understanding of the steps involved and some handy tips to guide you, you can ensure that your Excel files are always up-to-date with the latest data from external sources. Remember to open your source file before the destination file, update links manually if needed, and regularly check the ‘Edit Links’ dialog box for any broken links. By staying on top of your link management, you’ll maintain the accuracy and reliability of your Excel documents, making your data analysis tasks a breeze. So go ahead, give these steps a try, and watch your Excel skills flourish!