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3 Ways To Find And Fix All Excel Broken Links

Excel broken links are one of the common issues confronted while working on a spreadsheet. Working on the spreadsheet and getting things stuck at this point is quite an issue when it comes to meeting the deadlines for work. Reasons for these broken links maybe a deleted or moved file that was once connected to the spreadsheet in one or another way.

The hurdle faced by users is finding the broken links in excels and then getting a prompt solution for fixing the broken links in excel efficiently. The error pop-up on the screen showcasing this issue is never welcomed.

Part 1. What Causes Broken Links in Excel

Why do my excel links keep breaking? It is a question users may want to know. Before mentioning the cause, get yourself familiar with the Excel broken links. The cells in the excel sheet are often linked to various files that carry the relevant data (formulas, codes, etc.) to one or other reasons, if these source files are corrupted (removed, deleted, or relocated) the links associated with the specific cells on the worksheet will break down and would not be available for performing the targeted function.

The foremost question that is associated with excel broken links is that what causes broken links in excel? As an answer to this question, two common and possible reasons are associated with the problem. While working on excel, sometimes, cells are linked to the other files containing data, when these files or folders are deleted or moved, then one faces a problem of excel broken links that would now impede the progression of spreadsheet work.

  • The source folder is deleted, it is not possible to track the data that means, there is no way out to fix the broken excel link.

  • In case of files/folders are moved to other locations in the device, one can easily fix the broken link by updating the location of the source file. In case you don’t find the data or source file in the device, you can easily prevent excel to update the link and remove it permanently.

Once you know the reason for these broken links, the next step is to find out the one in the whole spreadsheet and fix it accordingly.

Solving the first part i.e. finding excel broken links, it is legit to read out the following method for an easy approach.

Part 2. Find Broken Links in Excel with Use Find and Replace

The easiest way to find excel broken links is to use the method of Find and Replace. When created a link with the source file carrying data, each cell gets a unique file extension. This file extension denotes the source file linked to the respective cell. In case, when the source file is deleted or relocated in the device, the cell in excel appears with an error representing excel broken link. For instance, to track the link applied in any formula, here are the steps mentioned:

find broken links

Step 1: Click Ctrl+F to start the Find and Replace dialog action.

find all option

Step 2: Select Options in the dialog box.

Step 3: In the Find what box, now enter the respective file extension linked.

Step 4: In the Within box option, select Workbook.

Step 5: In the Look in box, select the option of Formulas.

replace option

Following these easy steps, one can find excel broken link. The next step is to replace one with a functional link. This is done when the source file location is changed. Once you find the broken link by following the above-mentioned steps, next you can select the option of replacing and change the file extension with a new one (functional).

And yes! All done with finding and somehow fixing the Excel broken link.

Part 3. Find Broken Links in Excel via Cell Relationship Diagram

The Cell relationship diagram in excel helps to portray a detail associated with the links of the selected cells and their relation in other excel sheets or even in the other workbook.

For accessing the Excel broken kinks via a cell relationship diagram, one needs a specific add-in to the workbook. You need the COM add-in to the workbook for getting things to work. The cell relationship diagram shows the link of the cell to another cell.

Following is the array of steps for finding the broken links in excel via cell relationship diagram:

Step 1: Click Files and select Options.

Step 2: In Options, navigate to Add-ins.

add ins

Step 3: Now in the drop-down select the COM add-in and further select Inquire.

select inquire

Step 4: Once you get the tab of Inquire in the Ribbon

tab inquire

Step 5: Select Cell Relationship in the Diagram group.

Step 6: The window for the cell relationship diagram pops up on the screen.

Step 7: Select the desired options in the dialog box and press OK.

Step 8: Diagram appears on the screen.

Step 9: Zoom in and view the cell to cell, cell to other excel sheets, and workbook links.

A complete cell relationship diagram will appear representing all the links incorporated and there appear the broken links if present in the diagram.

By using this step-based process, one can easily head towards the problem-causing cell that carries the Excel broken link.

Part 4. Find Broken Links in Excel using Excel VBA

Using the Excel VBA for finding the Excel broken links, means incorporating a massive code that tracks down the broken link associated with any cell of the workbook. One can restore the return value of accessing source links to determine whether these hyperlinks are broken.

You need to add a reference Microsoft XML V3 for using the following code:

  • Private Function CheckHyperlink(HypelinksCell As Range) As String

  • On Error GoTo ErrorHandler

  • Dim oHttp As New MSXML2.XMLHTTP30

  • oHttp.Open "HEAD", HypelinksCell.Text, False

  • Exit Function

  • ErrorHandler:

  • CheckHyperlink = "Error: " & Err.Description

  • End Function

  • Sub Test()

  • Debug.Print CheckHyperlink(Range("A1"))

  • End Sub

By using the above code, one can easily track the broken link associated with any cell of the spreadsheet and then proceed to the action of fixing the broken link.

Part 5. How to Fix or Remove Broken Links in Excel

Got a clue where that broken link exists? Now it’s time to fix that excel broken link to keep things going on smoothly in the workbook. Here mentioned are two ways that one can perform to deal with the broken links. Starting with fixing it:

Fix a broken link

While attempting to fix broken links in excel, this should be kept in mind that it is an action that once performed cannot be reversed. To make sure that you won’t lose your data or work done on the spreadsheet, it is suggested to save a copy, and let’s proceed with the action.

Step 1: Start with opening the workbook which carries the broken link associated with the spreadsheet cells.

Step 2: Head towards the Data tab and select the option of Edit Links.

Step 3: In case if the Edit Links command is not available, it portrays that your spreadsheet doesn't contain links that need to be fixed.

Step 4: Once you track the Excel broken link, move to the Source file box, click the broken link that needs fixation.

Step 5: In case of location-related excel broken links, select the option of Change Source.


Step 6: Browse the new location of the source file containing the relevant linked data.

Step 7: Now, select the new source file, and again click Change Source.

Congratulations, you are done with fixing the broken link in excel.

Remove a broken link

As far as removal of the broken link is concerned, it usually comes across in a situation where the source file linked to the workbook is deleted and one cannot access the data in any possible way. At this place, all the formulas applied in the workbook relevant to that deleted source folder are converted to normal values. This is an indication that you have a broken excel link in the spreadsheet.

Here mentioned is the most promising way to tackle an Excel broken link when the source file is deleted i.e. Remove the broken link.

Step 1: Head to the workbook which contains the broken link creating the problem.

Step 2: Move the cursor on the Data tab and click the option of Edit Links.


Step 3: In the Source file box, click the broken link which you want to delete.


Step 4: Select the option of Break Link.

Step 5: Press Close.

And you are done with removing the broken link. Now you can attach any other relevant or targeted link if and when required.

Part 6. How to Fix Broken Excel File

Being vigilant in its action, whenever Excel confronts a broken excel file, the workbook automatically starts its immune actions to restore the normal functioning. There are two possible ways to approach this cascade of actions. One is the automatic file repairy mode, which fails to proceed normally, the manual one takes command and fixes the problem.

Noting down the steps associated with the manual process, here you go to fix the broken excel file.

Step 1: Select File and click on the option of Open.

Step 2: Select the location and folder which contains the broken excel file.


Step 3: In the tab of the Open dialog box, click the broken excel file.

Step 4: Click on the arrow present next to the Open button, and then select the option of Open and Repair.


Step 5: To repair the file data, click Repair.

Following the steps, you can easily fix the broken excel file.

Apart from all the device build-in possibilities and repair mechanisms to deal with excel broken links, here is a third-party toolkit that serves the same pursuit i.e. Wondershare Repairit Toolkit.

Fix Broken Excel File with Wondershare Repairit

Being an all-time multipurpose repair toolkit, the Wondershare Repairit is there to deal with all the file corruption issues linked to the MS office. Be it a word file, excel, PowerPoint, or even a pdf file, this toolkit repairs all the relevant issues and goes well with office 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

Specifically pointing out the functionality related to the excel file repair mechanism, this toolkit deals with the problems associated with file corruption and also retrieves the data in XLSX format. Following is the list of key functionalities that the toolkit performs for the excel file repair.

  • It helps to repair the formulas, infographics, and comments linked to the cells in the spreadsheet.

  • It has the capacity of treating single and multiple XLSX files simultaneously.

  • Handles all forms of file corruptions i.e. unauthorized format and unreadable content.

  • Restore cell formatting and other workbook properties.

It is suggested to close all the files before using the software to avoid any data loss. When using this program, the following are the steps that can be followed to fix the broken links:

 1. To add excel files on the left panel click the add file icon and import files.

stellar excel repair

2. You can check the damaged of searched files, select files for repair, and click the 'Repair' button to start the repairing process.

scan the corrupt videos

3. Preview the repaired Excel files, and choose to save.

preview and save the repaired vidoes

Select location, click ok.

This is how easily and quickly the software deals with the problem of excel broken links and mends them in no time by merely clicking on some tabs and selecting options. And for website tool users, Repairit also offers an efficient online document repair tool to fix broken Excel files in three steps.

Hence, finding and fixing the Excel broken links gets a bit easier with all the above-mentioned methods that are both handy and easy to run without any complication.