Why can't I kill the Excel External Links?

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There are many reasons why we need to break source, Excel external links. In most cases, it is merely source, external data referenced in cells of a financial model. In these instances it is quite simple to break these external links.

However, in other cases breaking external links will not be so obvious and easy. The reason being other elements of the spreadsheet are referencing such links.

This video will identify five, including the four less obvious sources of links, which many financial model users will be unaware of pinpointing.

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17 thoughts on “Why can't I kill the Excel External Links?

  • Going to Formulas and then Name Manager solved my issues. And this was something Ive been struggling with for probably like 6 years in my career. Thank you so much.

  • When I break a link as described in your first scenario, it doesn't do anything. Well, it laughs at me first, but then doesn't do anything. Nice video, though.

  • I have a very small model that inherited a couple worksheets from other files, and it became 4M for no reason, and file size won't shrink even if I delete all worksheets. I can see a link under Data but cannot break it. After viewing this video, I went into name manager and found hundreds if not thousands of names linking to external database. Deleting those results in a 40K file size. Feeling much better now and thanks for this video!

  • One thing to add to your list would be data validation (dropdowns) linked to an external sheet. Usually you wont be able to open up the dropdown when this is the case and will need to delete or relink the data validation.

  • If the file was created in 2016 and later file is opened is 2013, then external link will be prompted and the file will not work. Opening the file in Excel 2016 will solve the issue

  • OMG – I have been struggling with these links for year. This video is by far the best in killing external links in excel!!

  • Awesome! Thank you so much! I couldn't break an "unbreakable" link until I viewed this video. The links that I could not break were tied to other workbooks. Following the path to: Formulas->Name Manager, was the answer to breaking the link reference. I never knew that existed until now. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  • Fantastic video. I was mystified by an external link I couldn't find but thanks to your video it is now gone. It was in a named range.

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