Quickly find and break broken links (external references) in Excel

Normally it will contain a lot of external references (also call links) in a large report workbook, because people may often create links to other cells,  sheets and workbooks for building a report workbook. Supposing you have a workbook which contains lots of links, there is no way for you to find and locate the cells that contains a link in Excel. But with Kutools for Excel's Find and Break Broken Links utility, you can easily:

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Click Kutools >> Link >> Find and Break Broken Links. See screenshots:

shot find break links 01 arrow-big

Please take a look at the following screenshot, and you will see in the cells in Column A contain links to other data sources. See screenshot:

If you configure to show formulas in cells instead of their calculated results in Excel Options, the Column A in the above screenshot will become as follows. See screenshot:

For example, the cell A2 links to cell B2 of Weighted Average Sheet in KTE_2013_TESGING_150108.xlsx (='='Z:\KTE\Test workbooks\[KTE_2013_TESTING_150108.xlsx]Weighted Average'!B2).

List all links in a list for finding and navigating between cells with links

You can list all such links of the workbook in a list in the Find and Break Broken Links dialog box as follows:

1. Open the workbook you want to have list of links, and then apply the utility (Click Kutools > Link > Find and Break Broken Links). Note: the workbook must contain links. See screenshot:

2. If the View cell option is checked, when you click on the link in the list. It will find and navigate to the specific cell which contains the link in the worksheet. If the link status is Error, it means the link is broken.

List all broken links in a list

If you want to have a list of all broken links of the workbook, please do as follows (change the filter to All broken links). See screenshot:

And you will list out all broken links of the workbook in the Find and Break Broken Links dialog box as:

List and filter links based on data source

You can also list all links based on specific data source. Please change the filter to the data source you want to have a list as:

Then you will have a list of cells all links to the specific data source as:

Break any links (broken links) you want

No matter the links status is broken (Error) or not, you can break the links from their data sources. For example, all the links in the following screenshot are checked, if you click Break link button, it will break all links from their data sources and replace the cell contents with the current displayed values. You will see the results as:



It will break the checked links from their data sources, if you click Break link button. So please make sure the links you want to break is checked in the list before clicking Break link button.


This utility supports Undo (CTRL+Z).

Demo: Quickly find and break broken links (external references) in Excel

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The functionality described above is just one of 300 powerful functions of Kutools for Excel.

Designed for Excel(Office) 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 and Office 365. Free download and use for 60 days.

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    Negudrus · 9 months ago
    Hello, your tools cannot find any broken links in my Excel workbook though Excel File> Info > Edit Links to Files dialog shows 3 links refering to 2 non existing files and 1 existing...