Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Updating Automatically When Opening Under Macro Control.

Updating Automatically when Opening Under Macro Control

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 10, 2019)

5

Graham wrote about a glitch he was having with his Excel automation efforts. It seems that a scheduled macro—which would run just fine—would open another workbook in order to update it. He could not get the macro to open the workbook without it displaying a notice asking if the automatic links in the workbook should be opened. The question halted the macro while it waited for Graham's response, and he was looking for a way for the links to be updated automatically, without the bothersome notice.

There are several ways this problem can be approached. First, you can configure Excel so that it doesn't ask the question. This option affects all workbooks opened on the system:

  1. Display the Excel Options dialog box. (In Excel 2007 click the Office button and then click Excel Options. In Excel 2010 and Excel 2013 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Advanced at the left of the dialog box and scroll down to the General section. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The advanced options in the Excel Options dialog box.

  4. Clear the Ask To Update Automatic Links check box.
  5. Click on OK.

With the check box cleared, Excel no longer asks and all links are updated automatically. If you want an approach that doesn't affect all workbooks, you can follow these steps:

  1. Open the workbook that contains the links.
  2. Display the Data tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the Edit Links tool in the Connections group. Excel displays the Edit Links dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  4. Figure 2. The Edit Links dialog box.

  5. Click the Startup Prompt button. Excel displays the Startup Prompt dialog box. (See Figure 3.)
  6. Figure 3. The Startup Prompt dialog box..

  7. Choose the third option, Don't Display the Alert and Update Links.
  8. Click on OK to dismiss the Startup Prompt dialog box.
  9. Click on Close to dismiss the Edit Links dialog box.
  10. Save your workbook.

Now the workbook can be opened without Excel asking about updates. This, of course, affects just this workbook, and it affects it regardless of how it is opened. In other words, it will affect how the workbook is opened by the macro as well as when it is opened by a user.

Perhaps the best approach is to simply make a small change in your macro—the one that opens the workbook containing links. There is a good chance that the code to open the workbook looks something like this:

Workbooks.Open FileName:="MyWorkbook.xls"

If this is the case, change the line to this:

Workbooks.Open FileName:="MyWorkbook.xls", UpdateLinks:=3

This UpdateLinks property is optional, but without it the "Do you want to update links" dialog box is displayed. If you include the property with the setting shown, then Excel will update both remote and external references in the workbook as it is opened.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8390) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Updating Automatically When Opening Under Macro Control.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Searching for Character Formatting

Need to look for a piece of text possessing a particular formatting attribute? Here's the skinny on how this is accomplished.

Discover More

Turning Off Dynamic Menus

You may want to adjust the way that Excel displays its various menus. This tip explains how you can turn off the dynamic ...

Discover More

Workbook Events

You can create macros that run whenever Excel detects a certain event happening within an entire workbook. This tip ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Using Seek In a Macro

When reading information from a text file, your macro may need to start reading at a place other than the beginning of ...

Discover More

Reversing Names In Place

Do you want a way to reverse names within a cell, making them "last, first" instead of "first last?" Here's a handy macro ...

Discover More

Getting User Input in a Dialog Box

Want to get some input from the users of your workbooks? You can do it by using the InputBox function in a macro.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 + 7?

2020-07-10 10:14:35

J. Woolley

@Lee Amari
I suggest you review Options > Trust Center > Trust Center Settings... > Trusted Locations. Do this for your colleagues' version of Excel. You might also review other Trust Center settings like Trusted Publishers, Macro Settings, External Content, etc. When you install Excel on a new computer, these settings usually default. If possible, compare with previous settings.


2020-07-09 17:50:23

Lee Amari

Good afternoon, I'm having a problem similar to this one stated here . I have a Macro Enabled Template that creates a staff assignment list for my respiratory therapy department. I have a macro that runs on startup and looks to see if the there is a date in a cell. If there is no date if brings up a user form and asks for a valid date in the from MM DD YY the input is validated and if not correct the user is redirected until a valid date is input then the startup macro Renames the template and saves it a Macro enabled workbook with the date amended to the end of the document name. All that works fine. We have used the sheet since 2012 when I made it. There are several cells in the sheet that use the VLOOKUP to retrieve data stored in another Macro enabled workbook. The data it is retrieving are notes that would need to appear on the specified date use in the name of the document. The links work for me any new user the links are broken even though the LOOKUP workbook is in the same shared folder we all have access to on a shared drive. One other feature of the macro is that during the startup macro I have coding that copies each of the VLOOKUP cells and then pastes just the values back into the cell replacing the function during the initial start of the new sheet. This is done to preserve what the daily message was and have the sheet show what the text was even years later after the external file is changed or updated with new dates. This works for me and it will work if I stop the macro and then manually relink the source files. but for some of my coworkers even this doesn't work. In one case the data update says the external file doesn't exist but we can open it manually but the sheet still won't see it.


2019-11-03 07:54:08

Thanks

Thank you for this wonderful mini-tutorial. Very helpful.


2016-12-16 13:14:23

Chris

I ended up using UpdateLinks:="True" and this worked for me with Excel 2010.


2015-03-02 20:58:36

Bruce

I tried the first two steps repeatedly and the links still do not update in Excel 2013 - any suggestions?

Can you give any more information on how to do step 3? I am not familiar with how to work with macros.

Thanks.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.