[Fixed!] This Workbook Contains Links to One or More External Sources That Could Be Unsafe

In this tutorial, we will cover how to fix the ‘This workbook contains links to one or more external sources that could be unsafe’ error. When we open a workbook, that workbook might contain a link to a cell or cells in other workbooks. So, if we open that workbook we may encounter an error message in a message box.


Download Practice Workbook

We can download the practice workbook from here.


3 Ways to Fix ‘This Workbook Contains Links to One or More External Sources That Could Be Unsafe’ Error in Excel

In this article, we will explain 3 different ways to fix the ‘This workbook contains links to one or more external sources that could be unsafe’ error. To make you understand better we will explain all 3 methods with the same dataset having external cell links from the same workbook.


1. Fix ‘This Workbook Contains Links to One or More External Sources That Could Be Unsafe’ Error with Automatic Update and No Message

In this first method, we will remove the ‘This workbook contains links to one or more external sources that could be unsafe’ message and automatically update the links when we open a workbook.

In the following dataset, we can see that we have a dataset of a bookshop. The dataset contains 5 books, their available Quantity, and the total quantity of those books. This workbook of this dataset contains links to cells in other workbooks. So, when we open the workbook we see an error message like the following image.

Fix ‘This Workbook Contains Links to One or More External Sources That Could Be Unsafe’ Error with Automatic Update and No Message

Let’s see the steps to apply the automatic update and no message.

STEPS:

  • To begin with, go to the File tab.

Fix ‘This Workbook Contains Links to One or More External Sources That Could Be Unsafe’ Error with Automatic Update and No Message

  • In addition, select Option.

  • The above command will open a new dialogue box named ‘Excel Options’.
  • Furthermore, go to the Advanced option from the dialogue box.
  • Then, scroll down. Uncheck the option ‘Ask to update automatic links’ under the General section.
  • Click on OK.

Fix ‘This Workbook Contains Links to One or More External Sources That Could Be Unsafe’ Error with Automatic Update and No Message

  • After that, press Ctrl + S to save the file and close the workbook.
  • Lastly, if you open the workbook again you will not see the error message anymore.

NOTE:

This option is only applicable to the current user. It affects all the workbooks that the current user accesses whereas other users who have access to the same workbooks are unaffected.

Read More: How to Update Hyperlink in Excel Automatically (2 Ways)


2. Apply Manual Update and No Message to Fix ‘This Workbook Contains Links to One or More External Sources That Could Be Unsafe’ Error

In the second method, we will eliminate the ‘This workbook contains links to one or more external sources that could be unsafe’ message manually. We apply this method when we share our workbook with others but don’t want to let them have access to the sources of updated links. To illustrate this method we will continue with the same dataset that we used in the previous method.

Let’s see the steps to apply the manual update and no message.

STEPS:

  • First, go to the Data tab.
  • Next, select the option ‘Edit Links’ in the ‘Queries & Connections’ groups.

Apply Manual Update and No Message to Fix ‘This Workbook Contains Links to One or More External Sources That Could Be Unsafe’ Error

  • A new dialogue box named ‘Edit Links’ will open.
  • Then, click on ‘Start Prompt’.

Apply Manual Update and No Message to Fix ‘This Workbook Contains Links to One or More External Sources That Could Be Unsafe’ Error

  • So, the above action will open one more window named ‘Startup Prompt’.
  • Furthermore, check the option ‘Don’t display the alert and update links’.
  • Click on OK.

Apply Manual Update and No Message to Fix ‘This Workbook Contains Links to One or More External Sources That Could Be Unsafe’ Error

  • After that, press Ctrl + S to save the workbook. Close the workbook after saving.
  • Finally, if we open the workbook again we will see that the error message doesn’t show up anymore.

Read More: [Fixed!] ‘This workbook contains links to other data sources’ Error in Excel


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3. Use Find Option to Fix ‘This Workbook Contains Links to One or More External Sources That Could Be Unsafe’ Error

We can also use the Find option to fix the ‘This workbook contains links to one or more external sources that could be unsafe’ error. This method is slightly different from the previous methods. We will suggest using this method to fix this error only when the previous two methods are not working.

Let’s see the steps to fix the error message using the Find option.

STEPS:

  • Firstly, select any blank cell from the worksheet. We are selecting cell E7.

Use Find Option to Fix ‘This Workbook Contains Links to One or More External Sources That Could Be Unsafe’ Error

  • Secondly, press Ctrl + F to open the ‘Find and Replace’ window.
  • Thirdly, search for [ (open bracket) character in the ‘Find What’ text field and hit ‘Find Next’.

Use Find Option to Fix ‘This Workbook Contains Links to One or More External Sources That Could Be Unsafe’ Error

  • Next, the above action will take us to the cell that contains an external cell reference.

Use Find Option to Fix ‘This Workbook Contains Links to One or More External Sources That Could Be Unsafe’ Error

  • Then, delete that cell value. This will delete all the data from the cells (C5:C10) as we are using references for all the cells.

Use Find Option to Fix ‘This Workbook Contains Links to One or More External Sources That Could Be Unsafe’ Error

  • Moreover, input the previous values again manually.
  • The above action will return the same value as the previous dataset.

  • After that, press Ctrl + S to save the file and close the workbook.
  • In the end, open the workbook again. This time we do not see any error message.

Read More: Find External Links in Excel (6 Quick Methods)


Conclusion

In conclusion, this tutorial guides you to fix the ‘This workbook contains links to one or more external sources that could be unsafe’ error. Use the practice worksheet that comes with this article to put your skills to the test. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. Our team will try to reply to you as soon as possible. Keep a watch out for more intriguing Microsoft Excel solutions in the future.


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Mukesh Dipto

Mukesh Dipto

Hi there! I am Mukesh Dipto. I graduated with a bachelor's degree in engineering. Currently, I am working as a technical content writer in ExcelDemy. You will find all my articles on Microsoft Excel on this site. Outside of the workplace, my hobbies and interests include sports and meeting new people. I also enjoy sports. My favorite sports are football (to watch and play) and Badminton (play).

2 Comments
  1. It’s amazing solution. Thank you teacher. Love from Bangladesh.

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