How-to Fix Security Links Warnings in an Excel Spreadsheet

If you have the yellow bar show up at the top of your Excel Spreadsheet “! Security Warning – Automatic update of links has been disabled ‘Enable Content'”

But you don’t know why you have them, or more importantly, how to get rid of it, check out these simple tips.

Excel Security Warning
Excel Security Warning


Normally, you will see this warning and button pop-up on a macro enabled spreadsheets, however, that has a different warning “!Security – Macros have been disabled ‘Enable Content'”.

But this is different.  Excel is letting you know that the spreadsheet has links to external files.


If you don’t know or don’t want links to external files, here is how to find and remove them.


1) Check for links in Formulas

To do this, press CTRL+F to bring up the Find dialog box.  And then look for a “[” character (bracket).  Most links to external files have the file located between brackets.  When you find them, you can delete as necessary.


2) Check for Data Validation

I have noticed that files from Microsoft Dynamics CRM may have some links built into the data validation.  If so, highlight your spreadsheet, select the data validation button and change to any value and apply to all.


3) Check Name Manager Formulas

My particular issue that you will see in the video below is that I had external links in formulas that were created in the Name Manager.  To research this, go to the Formulas ribbon and click on Name Manager.  Then check each defined name for external file links.  In my case, I deleted the duplicate names that were created when I moved a worksheet tab from a previous file to a newer version.  The newly created names referred to another spreadsheet.


Video Tutorial

What frustrations, tips or tricks have you discovered with Excel?