[excel] How to suppress Update Links warning?

I'm trying to write a script that opens many Excel files. I keep getting the prompt:

This workbook contains links to other data sources.

I want to keep this message from appearing, so that my script can just automatically go through all the workbooks without me having to click Don't Update for each one. Currently I'm using the following:

function getWorkbook(bkPath as string) as workbook


end function

However, the message is still appearing. How can I suppress it?

EDIT: It appears that this message is coming up for workbooks that have broken links; I wasn't seeing the This workbook contains one or more links that cannot be updated message because I'd set DisplayAlerts to false. The workbooks are linked to equivalent files in a folder on our Windows server, so when the matching file is deleted from that folder (which happens as part of our business flow), the link breaks. Is it possible to suppress the warning when the link is broken?

Also, I'm using Excel 2010.

This question is related to excel vba

The answer is


After all the details summarized and discussed, I spent 2 fair hours in checking the options, and this update is to dot all is.


First of all, I performed a clean Office 2010 x86 install on Clean Win7 SP1 Ultimate x64 virtual machine powered by VMWare (this is usual routine for my everyday testing tasks, so I have many of them deployed).

Then, I changed only the following Excel options (i.e. all the other are left as is after installation):

  • Advanced > General > Ask to update automatic links checked:

Ask to update automatic links

  • Trust Center > Trust Center Settings... > External Content > Enable All... (although that one that relates to Data Connections is most likely not important for the case):

External Content


I prepared and placed to C:\ a workbook exactly as per @Siddharth Rout suggestions in his updated answer (shared for your convenience): https://www.dropbox.com/s/mv88vyc27eljqaq/Book1withLinkToBook2.xlsx Linked book was then deleted so that link in the shared book is unavailable (for sure).

Manual Opening

The above shared file shows on opening (having the above listed Excel options) 2 warnings - in the order of appearance:


This workbook contains links to other data sources

After click on Update I expectedly got another:


This workbook contains one or more links that cannot be updated

So, I suppose my testing environment is now pretty much similar to OP's) So far so good, we finally go to

VBA Opening

Now I'll try all possible options step by step to make the picture clear. I'll share only relevant lines of code for simplicity (complete sample file with code will be shared in the end).

1. Simple Application.Workbooks.Open

Application.Workbooks.Open Filename:="C:\Book1withLinkToBook2.xlsx"

No surprise - this produces BOTH warnings, as for manual opening above.

2. Application.DisplayAlerts = False

Application.DisplayAlerts = False
Application.Workbooks.Open Filename:="C:\Book1withLinkToBook2.xlsx"
Application.DisplayAlerts = True

This code ends up with WARNING #1, and either option clicked (Update / Don't Update) produces NO further warnings, i.e. Application.DisplayAlerts = False suppresses WARNING #2.

3. Application.AskToUpdateLinks = False

Application.AskToUpdateLinks = False
Application.Workbooks.Open Filename:="C:\Book1withLinkToBook2.xlsx"
Application.AskToUpdateLinks = True

Opposite to DisplayAlerts, this code ends up with WARNING #2 only, i.e. Application.AskToUpdateLinks = False suppresses WARNING #1.

4. Double False

Application.AskToUpdateLinks = False
Application.DisplayAlerts = False
Application.Workbooks.Open Filename:="C:\Book1withLinkToBook2.xlsx"
Application.DisplayAlerts = True
Application.AskToUpdateLinks = True

Apparently, this code ends up with suppressing BOTH WARNINGS.

5. UpdateLinks:=False

Application.Workbooks.Open Filename:="C:\Book1withLinkToBook2.xlsx", UpdateLinks:=False

Finally, this 1-line solution (originally proposed by @brettdj) works the same way as Double False: NO WARNINGS are shown!


Except a good testing practice and very important solved case (I may face such issues everyday while sending my workbooks to 3rd party, and now I'm prepared), 2 more things learned:

  1. Excel options DO matter, regardless of version - especially when we come to VBA solutions.
  2. Every trouble has short and elegant solution - together with not obvious and complicated one. Just one more proof for that!)

Thanks very much to everyone who contributed to the solution, and especially OP who raised the question. Hope my investigations and thoroughly described testing steps were helpful not only for me)

Sample file with the above code samples is shared (many lines are commented deliberately): https://www.dropbox.com/s/9bwu6pn8fcogby7/NoWarningsOpen.xlsm

Original answer (tested for Excel 2007 with certain options):

This code works fine for me - it loops through ALL Excel files specified using wildcards in the InputFolder:

Sub WorkbookOpening2007()

Dim InputFolder As String
Dim LoopFileNameExt As String

InputFolder = "D:\DOCUMENTS\" 'Trailing "\" is required!

LoopFileNameExt = Dir(InputFolder & "*.xls?")
Do While LoopFileNameExt <> ""

Application.DisplayAlerts = False
Application.Workbooks.Open (InputFolder & LoopFileNameExt)
Application.DisplayAlerts = True

LoopFileNameExt = Dir

End Sub

I tried it with books with unavailable external links - no warnings.

Sample file: https://www.dropbox.com/s/9bwu6pn8fcogby7/NoWarningsOpen.xlsm

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