How to Find Links in Excel ( 8 Suitable Approaches)

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In this article, we will discuss 8 suitable approaches to find links in Excel. Excel has tremendous available options to link your working workbook to several external sheets and external workbooks. But, these links create problems sometimes especially when you change the location of the file. Sometimes, when you delete any linked file, issues arise. Now, if you wish to find your file locations, you might need to find links first. Besides, If you want to delete or break any link then again you have to find links first. Take a look at the overview before jumping into the methods.

find links in excel

How to Find Links in Excel: 8 Suitable Approaches

1. Use Find and Replace Option to Search Links in Excel

The easiest and most common option to find a link is to use the Find and Replace option. For instance, we have a grocery product datasheet that is linked to other workbooks containing sales data. Here is how we will find the links.


  • First, go to the active worksheet.

Use Find and Replace Option to Search Links in Excel

  • Then, type Ctrl+F or go to Home > Find & Select > Find. The Find and Replace window will pop up. In our example, our data is linked to another Excel file. So, we will type .xl in Find what field. This is because Excel files have extensions like .xlsx or .xlsm. You can change Within and Look in fields according to your preferences. Then, click Find All.

Use Find and Replace Option to Search Links in Excel

  • At last, you will get all the available links.

2. Search Links for Hyperlinked Data in Excel

Sometimes, we hyperlink data to other worksheets. Finding a hyperlink path is very easy. You just have to hover the mouse on the data that is hyperlinked to the external sheet. For example, we have some grocery items that are hyperlinked to their date-wise sales in another worksheet. Now, we will show how to find the linked path.


  • Simply, put your mouse on the hyperlinked data and you will see the link.

Search Links for Hyperlinked Data in Excel

3. Find Links Using Edit Links in Excel

Searching links through the Edit Links option is very quick and easy. Moreover, you can use this option to break the link to other files.


  • Initially, go to the Data tab and choose Edit Links.

Find Links Using Edit Links in Excel

  • Later, you will find all the links present in the data.


If you ever try to break links using Edit Link options, it is better to keep a backup of the files before the operation. The reason is, that the operation breaks all the links to other files. And, sometimes you might need to see the links again.

4. Using Defined Names to Get Links in Excel

Often, we use Define Name in Excel to link data to another file. If you want to find the source file of your existing data using Name Manager can be an option.


  • Firstly, go to the Formulas tab, and click Name Manager.

Using Defined Names to Get Links in Excel

  • As a consequence, the Name Manager window will show up. The window shows the referring file of our current dataset.

5. Find Excel Links in Charts

Sometimes, in Excel, you will see that charts are linked to another file. In such scenarios, if you want to know the source of the chart, you can follow the below steps:


  • First, select the chart.

Find Excel Links in Charts

  • Then, go to the Format tab, and choose the data Series from the Current Selection group.

Find Excel Links in Charts

  • Finally, you will find the path to which the chart is connected.

6. Search Links in Excel Objects

Likewise, charts and shapes can also be linked to other workbooks in Excel. Luckily, finding links in shapes and other objects is very easy. In this method, we have linked a shape to an external Excel file. So, now we will see how to find the links in objects.


  • Simply, hover the mouse over the shape, and you will see which file the shape is connected to.

Search Links in Excel Objects

7. Find Excel Links in Pivot Tables

Similar to objects and charts, you can also find the link in Excel Pivot Tables. In this example, we have linked a pivot table to another file. You can follow the below steps to get the link.


  • Firstly, select the Pivot Table you are working with. Secondly, go to the Pivot Table Analyze tab and click Change Data Source.

Find Excel Links in Pivot Tables

  • Then, Choose Change Data Source.

Find Excel Links in Pivot Tables

  • Finally, you will see the link to the file connected to the Pivot Table.

8. Use VBA to Get Links in Excel

If you want to find all the links in a workbook at once, using VBA code can be a suitable option. So, here is the procedure.


  • First, go to any worksheet where you want to see all the links used in your Excel workbook. Then right-click on the sheet name, and select the View Code option to bring the VBA window.
  • Write the following code in the Module.
Option Explicit
Sub Find_External__Links()

Dim i As Integer
Dim links As Variant
links = ActiveWorkbook.LinkSources(xlExcelLinks)
If Not IsEmpty(links) Then
For i = 1 To UBound(links)
Cells(i, 1).Value = links(i)
Next i
MsgBox "External links not found.", vbInformation, "Find Links"
End If

End Sub

Use VBA to Get Links in Excel

  • Now, run the code, and you will find all the links existing in the workbook.

Download the Practice Workbook

You can download the practice workbook that we have used to prepare this article.


In the above-mentioned discussion, I have tried to explain most of the easy ways to find links in Excel. Using these methods, you can find the links. And, delete the links whenever necessary. If you have any queries or suggestions regarding these methods, please let me know.

Find Links in Excel: Knowledge Hub

How to Find External Links in Excel (6 Quick Methods)

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Hosne Ara
Hosne Ara

Hosne Ara is a materials and metallurgical engineer who loves exploring Excel and VBA programming. To her, programming is like a time-saving superhero for dealing with data, files, and the internet. She's skilled in Rhino3D, Maxsurf C++, MS Office, AutoCAD, and Excel & VBA, going beyond the basics. With a B. Sc. in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, she's shifted gears and now works as a content developer. In this role, she... Read Full Bio

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