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This Workbook contains links to one or more external sources that could be unsafe

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This Workbook contains links to one or more external sources that could be unsafe

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Does Excel keep throwing This Workbook contains links to one or more external sources that could be unsafe warning message when opening a workbook? Many users have reported getting this warning whenever they open an Excel file. While the warning indicates potentially malicious links in your workbook, it may be triggered even when you have included trusted external sources

This Workbook contains links to one or more external sources that could be unsafe

This Workbook contains links to one or more external sources that could be unsafe

If you get the This Workbook contains links to one or more external sources that could be unsafe warning prompt when opening an Excel file, use the below solutions to fix the error:

  1. Check external links in your workbook and remove the untrusted ones.
  2. Use the Edit Link feature to break links.
  3. Prevent Excel from displaying the alert and update links.
  4. Disable the Ask to update automatic links option.

1] Check external links in your workbook and remove the untrusted ones

As the warning indicates that your workbook contains links that are suspicious or could lead to malicious content, you need to check if the links are safe or not and make sure they are trusted. You can manually check for links by using the Find and Replace feature. Here’s how to do that:

First, open the problematic workbook and press CTRL+F to open the Find and Replace dialog.

Now, type “.xls” in the Find what box and press the Find All button. It will list all the links referring to XLS and XLSX files. Verify all the links and remove the unwanted ones.

Once done, save your workbook, close it, and then reopen it again to check if the warning has stopped now.

Similarly, you can find links to other files and external sources and check if they are trusted or not.

2] Use the Edit Link feature to break links

Another thing you can do is edit the links in your workbook by using the dedicated feature provided by Excel. Here’s how to do that:

  • First, move to the Data tab on the ribbon and click on the Edit Links option from the Queries & Connections group.
  • Next, in the opened Edit Links window, select the suspicious link and then press the Break Link button.

Check if the issue is now resolved.

3] Prevent Excel from displaying the alert and update links

Another thing you can do to stop receiving this warning prompt is to prevent Excel from asking to update links when a workbook is opened. Here’s how you can do that:

  • First, click on the DataEdit Links option.
  • In the opened Edit Links window, press the Start Prompt button.
  • After that, select the Don’t display the alert and update links option and press the OK button to save changes.
  • Finally, press CTRL+S to save the workbook and close the workbook.

You should now stop receiving the This Workbook contains links to one or more external sources that could be unsafe warning on opening an Excel workbook.

Read: Word or Excel hyperlinks are slow to open.

4] Disable the Ask to update automatic links option

One more thing you can try to stop getting this warning message is to disable the Ask to update automatic links option. When this option is activated, Excel displays a dialog box to the user every time they open a workbook with external links. It lets users choose whether to refresh the links with the most recent data from the connected sources. If you don’t want that, you can disable the option.

Here are the steps to do that:

  • First, open Excel and go to the File menu.
  • Now, select Options and then move to the Advanced tab.
  • After that, under the General section, untick the Ask to update automatic links checkbox.
  • Finally, press the OK button and see if the warning has stopped now.

See: Excel crashes when clicking on a hyperlink.

I hope you won’t receive the same warning in Excel now.

How do you remove links from one or more external sources?

The steps to remove links to external sources in an Excel workbook are very simple. You can go to the Data tab, click on the Edit Links, select the link you want to remove, and then press the Break Link option. As simple as that.

How do I turn off This workbook contains links in Excel?

To stop receiving prompts to update links on opening an Excel workbook, you can use the Don’t display the alert and update links feature. Besides that, you can also change global Excel settings and stop it from asking to update links by switching off the Ask to update automatic links feature.

Now read: Fix Hyperlinks not opening or working in Excel.

This Workbook contains links to one or more external sources that could be unsafe

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