Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Changing Links.

Changing Links

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 9, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016


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You already know that Excel allows you to establish links between your workbook and other objects, such as graphics, Word documents, and other items. (We're talking regular links here, not hyperlinks.) There may come a time when you wish to change the links. For instance, you may have a picture linked in your workbook, and you want to change the location of the picture (to a different directory or drive). Excel allows you to change your link so it can point to the proper file as the source of the object in the workbook.

To change links in this manner, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Data tab of the ribbon.
  2. In the Connections group (Excel 2007, Excel 2010, and Excel 2013) or the Queries & Connections group (Excel 2016), click the Edit Links tool. Excel displays the Edit Links dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Edit Links dialog box.

  4. Select the link you want to change.
  5. Click on Change Source. Excel displays the Change Source dialog box.
  6. Use the controls in the dialog box to locate and select the file that will serve as the new source of the link.
  7. Click Open. Excel updates the link to reflect the new source you specified.
  8. Make any additional link changes necessary by repeating steps 2 through 5.
  9. Click on OK.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7364) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Changing Links.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is 3 + 7?

2021-07-06 09:48:00

J. Woolley

Here is a good article on this subject: https://www.ablebits.com/office-addins-blog/2021/01/27/find-break-external-links-excel/
Also, consider the ListExLinks function in My Excel Toolbox: https://sites.google.com/view/MyExcelToolbox/


2021-07-05 11:36:15

Geoff Taylor

No edit links tool appears...I'm using 2016 one, as usual these blogs are a waste of time!


2020-09-21 10:22:25

Walter Lee Brumfield

What if I want to just update the links to a new tab in the same excel file? Is that still possible to chose the tab you want to update to?


2018-05-25 07:14:03

Lea Salonga

What if the source file that I needed is saved in a Share Point? How can I make that as my source file? When I click the change source, it's only showing me files from my hard drive. Pls help and advise. Thanks


2018-05-23 08:19:55

Dennis Costello

In (belated) reaction to Adi's question, note that this can happen for all sorts of reasons, and they can be rather subtle, confusing, and frustrating. The problem is that a workbook can be connected to another workbook in several ways - that other workbook will appear in the Edit Links list as long as any of those connections exist, but the Change Source button only updates links found in cell formulae. So ...

All formulae like this: =[other-wookbook.xlsx]tab!A5 will be changed to =[new-workbook]tab!A5

But if cells in "other-workbook" are referenced in data validation or conditional formatting, the "Change Source..." button won't update those references. You'll have to chase those down yourself and fix them manually. I learned these two cases specifically with workbooks I use, and fixed it by creating a links section. Data Validation on a cell in Workbook-A was set to Allow: List, Source: =[Workbook-B]tab!U5:U45. What I did was put links into cells [Workbook-A]other-tab!B105:B145, containing =[Workbook-B]tab!U5, =[Workbook-B]tab!U6, ... =[Workbook-B]tab!U45, and then change the Data Validation Source to point to that set of cells. The contents of the links section are updated properly by the Change Source button.

The frustrating part is that there is no easy way (or at least I don't know any) to find the data validations or conditional formatting that cause this. You just have to walk through the whole workbook looking for them.


2018-03-19 22:37:34

Jason

Thank you. I had to move some files around on the network for a coworker to cover for me, and broke all my workbooks. It's taking time to fix them but I now know how.


2018-02-14 16:47:03

Adi

2 rows gets created when I try to change the source. It is happening perfectly fine for my colleague . what can be the probable reason?


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