Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Don't Update Links to Other Programs.

Don't Update Links to Other Programs

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 8, 2018)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


You know that Excel allows you to create links to data in other workbooks. Excel also allows you to link to non-Excel data from other programs, as well. For instance, you could link to pictures or to Word data or to data in any number of other programs. The linking is done via OLE and DDE, as is discussed in other issues of ExcelTips.

Normally, data from other programs is updated whenever you open an workbook, and thereafter whenever the source data changes. If you want to tell Excel to not update linked data from other programs, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Excel displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Calculation tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Calculation tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Clear the Update Remote References check box.
  5. Click OK.

Changing this setting is only effective for the current session in Excel. The next time you open the workbook, Excel reverts to updating links automatically. If you want to turn off specific links so that they are not continually updated, choose Edit | Links, locate the link, and change its update method to Manual.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3039) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Don't Update Links to Other Programs.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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