[Fix]: Excel Automatic Update of Links Has Been Disabled

This article shows how to turn off the security warning in Excel saying the automatic update of links has been disabled. It often occurs when a workbook contains external references to another workbook. Excel may also show the warning in case of any kind of linking of the workbook to any external source. Have a quick look through the article to see how to resolve the problem.

Fix: Excel Automatic Update of Links Has Been Disabled

What Is the ‘Excel Automatic Update of Links Has Been Disabled’ Issue?

Assume that you have a worksheet linked to another source workbook through a formula in cell B2. Excel will not show any security warning if the source workbook is open too.

  • But as soon as you close the source workbook, the formula in cell B2 changes instantly to show the path of the external reference as shown below.

  • Now close and reopen your workbook. Then Excel will show the following security warning. This way Excel wants to protect you from untrusted connections.

Excel Automatic Update of Links Has Been Disabled

  • You can click on the cross icon to remove the warning. But this will reappear every time you open the workbook.
  • Alternatively, you can click on Enable Content leading to the following warning instead whenever you reopen the workbook.

‘Excel Automatic Update of Links Has Been Disabled’ Issue: Step-by-Step Solution

Now in this section, we will show how to solve this issue with quick steps.

Step-1: Go to the Advanced Tab of Excel Options

To fix this issue, press ALT+F+T to open Excel Options. Then go to the Advanced tab. Then uncheck Ask to update automatic links and hit the OK button.

Fix: Excel Automatic Update of Links Has Been Disabled

Read More: How to Update Hyperlink in Excel Automatically

Step-2: Go to the Trust Center Tab

After that, if Excel is still showing the warning then go to the Trust Center tab from the Excel Options window. And then click on Trust Center Settings.

Step-3: Go to External Content Tab

Now go to the External Content tab. Then uncheck the radio button to Enable automatic update for all Workbook Links (not recommended). You will find it in the section named Security Settings for Workbook Links. After that, click OK.

Fix: Excel Automatic Update of Links Has Been Disabled

  • Select OK one more time. The problem should be resolved by now.

Alternative Solution to ‘Excel Automatic Update of Links Has Been Disabled’ Issue

You can also disable the security alert using the Edit Links feature. Just follow the steps below.

📌 Steps:

  • First, select Data >> Edit Links as shown below.

  • Then click on Startup Prompt at the bottom-left corner in the Edit Links window.

  • After that, the Startup Prompt window will pop up. Select Don’t display the alert and update links and then click OK.

Fix: Excel Automatic Update of Links Has Been Disabled

  • You can open the external sources from here too. This will automatically remove the security alert.

  • You can break the links in your worksheet if you don’t need to update the data along with the source. Then select the particular link and click on Break Link as shown below.

  • Next, you will see the following error. Because breaking a link will convert the associated data to values only. After that, you won’t see the security alert anymore.

  • You may need to delete any defined range with external sources. Select Formulas >> Name Manager to see the defined names.

  • Now select the defined range and delete it if not needed.

Things to Remember

  • You may need to enable other security settings in the Trust Center if required.
  • Data Validation, Conditional Formatting, PivotTable, and Power Query may also contain external links causing the security alert.

Download Practice Workbook

You can download the practice workbook from the download button below.


Now you know how to fix the security alert in Excel showing automatic update of links has been disabled. Please let us know if this article has helped you to fix the issue. You can also use the comment section below for further queries or suggestions.

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Md. Shamim Reza
Md. Shamim Reza

Md. Shamim Reza, a marine engineer with expertise in Excel and a fervent interest in VBA programming, sees programming as a time-saving tool for data manipulation, file handling, and internet interaction. His diverse skill set encompasses Rhino3D, Maxsurf C++, AutoCAD, Deep Neural Networks, and Machine Learning. He holds a B.Sc in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering from BUET and has transitioned into a content developer role, generating technical content focused on Excel and VBA. Beyond his professional pursuits,... Read Full Bio

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