Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 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: Stopping Help from Using Online Resources.

Stopping Help from Using Online Resources

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 28, 2015)


One of the changes introduced in Excel 2003 was a greater reliance by the program on online help systems. When you choose to display Excel's Help system and then search for information on a topic, by default Excel also returns help topics from the Web, specifically from Microsoft's Web sites.

You can, if desired, configure Excel 2003 so that it won't access any online information. To make this change, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Excel displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the General tab is displayed.
  3. Click Service Options. Excel displays the Service Options dialog box.
  4. In the Category list, choose Online Content. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Service Options dialog box.

  6. Using the controls at the right side of the dialog box, specify how you want Excel to access (or not access) online content.
  7. Click OK to close the Service Options dialog box.
  8. Click OK to close the Options dialog box.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3047) applies to Microsoft Excel 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Stopping Help from Using Online Resources.

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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What is five more than 3?

2015-03-02 10:19:22

Scott Renz

I wish I knew what each of those options would to for me.

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