How to Find Broken Links in Excel

Written by

Mel Jenkins

Reviewed by

Laura Tsitlidze

Last updated on February 13, 2023

This tutorial demonstrates how to find broken links in Excel.


findbroken intro


If you have a file that is linked to external files, it may be that one of the external files is either deleted, renamed, or moved. This can lead to your file having broken links.

Find Broken Links

When you open the file that contains external links, the following message may appear.


findbroken broken lin


You can choose either Continue or Edit Links. If you click Continue, your file opens normally. You still, however, have the broken link in the file and your file may therefore contain missing data or incorrect formulas.

  1. To find the reason for the missing links, click Edit Links, or if you are already in your Excel file, in the Ribbon, go to Data > Queries & Connections > Edit Links.


findbroken ribbon


The Edit Links dialog box opens. It shows you all the external links to your workbook.


findbroken edit link


  1. To check the links, click Check Status.


findbroken check status


If there is a problem, the status is Error: Source not found.

  1. At this point, you can break the link using Break Link, or use Change Source to find the file that the link is meant to be connected to.
    You can also at this point, exit out of this screen and use the Find command in Excel to find all the formulas that are affected by this broken link.
  2. Press CTRL + F on the keyboard, and then, in the Find What box, type the name of the workbook that is the cause of the missing link.


findbroken find


  1. You can then go to each individual cell that contains the formula and adjust the formula to remove the link, if needed.

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