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When opening my Excel sheet using Excel 2010, I get a yellow bar at the top from Excel informing me that it has de-activated the automatic update of hyperlinks.

To my best knowledge, I do not know that I ever entered a hyperlink. I have even copy-pasted the content to a new sheet some time back, with no success.

How do I find these hyperlinks, so that I can delete them?

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You can deactivate the links through Office button and the Excel options button, see Turn off hyperlinks.

Hyperlinks can be found through the search function, see Finding Excel hyperlinks. Quoting from the source:

Using the Find Feature

A quick way to cycle through your external links (depending on the number you have) is to use the find feature built into Excel. We will be searching for “[“, left bracket, which can help identity those external workbook references.

  • Hit Ctrl+F (or Edit–>Find on your toolbar) on your keyboard to open your find wizard
  • Click the “Options” button to open additional criteria
  • Select: within “Workbook”
  • Select: look in “Formulas”
  • Finally, enter a left bracket “[” in the Find What field (without double quotes)

That’s it. Excel will now go through and show you all the instances where the left bracket has been used in your spreadsheet, which should identify external references to other spreadsheets.

Delete Links Add-In

Microsoft has also provided an add-in to help you identify and delete links. To view Microsoft’s solution to this problem, visit There is an additional Read-me file to help you use the add-in after you extract from the exe file.

The reason the Find Feature works is that external references are identified by a set of brackets. However, the feature also finds whatever left brackets you might have on the document, not just the ones corresponding to external references.

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