How to Find Links in Microsoft Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Finding links in Microsoft Excel is a handy skill that can save you time and frustration. Whether you’re working with a complex spreadsheet or simply trying to navigate a large amount of data, knowing how to locate links quickly can be a game-changer. After completing this task, you’ll be able to identify and manage links within your Excel documents with ease.

After you’ve learned how to find links in Excel, you’ll be able to maintain your spreadsheets more effectively. This means you can ensure that all your links are up-to-date, working correctly, and don’t lead to any dead-ends or irrelevant information.


Microsoft Excel is a powerhouse when it comes to organizing data, performing calculations, and creating charts. But did you know that Excel also allows you to incorporate links into your spreadsheets? Yes, you heard that right! Links can be internal, leading to different sheets within the workbook, or external, connecting to websites or other files. For anyone diving into the depths of data, being able to find and manage these links is crucial. It’s not just for the Excel wizards; even beginners will find this skill useful.

With the amount of data that we shuffle around in our jobs or personal projects, being able to quickly find and fix broken links or navigate through complex workbooks can save you a lot of time and headache. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or just someone with a love for organization, knowing how to find links in Excel is a tool you’ll want in your belt. So, let’s get down to business and learn how to uncover these hidden passageways!

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Find Links in Microsoft Excel

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to note that finding links will help you understand where your data is coming from and how it’s connected across your workbook or to external sources. This is crucial for troubleshooting and ensuring data integrity.

Step 1: Open the Excel Workbook

Open the document where you need to find the links.

When you open your workbook, make sure that it’s the correct version and that you have access to all necessary sheets. Sometimes links can be hidden in protected sheets, so having the right access is key.

Step 2: Go to the ‘Edit’ Tab

Click on the ‘Edit’ tab on the Excel ribbon.

The ‘Edit’ tab is where you’ll find many helpful tools for managing your data. This is where you can also track down those elusive links.

Step 3: Select ‘Find’ and then ‘Go To’

Within the ‘Edit’ tab, find and select the ‘Find’ option, then choose ‘Go To’.

The ‘Go To’ feature is your gateway to navigating within your spreadsheet efficiently. This is where the magic begins for finding your links.

Step 4: Click on ‘Special’

In the ‘Go To’ menu, click on the button that says ‘Special’.

The ‘Special’ option is like a treasure map to hidden elements in your spreadsheet. It guides you to things that are not immediately visible, such as formulas, comments, and yes, links!

Step 5: Select ‘Objects’ or ‘Hyperlinks’

From the options, select either ‘Objects’ or ‘Hyperlinks’ depending on what you’re looking for.

‘Objects’ could be anything from embedded charts to images, while ‘Hyperlinks’ are your direct links to other data sources or sheets.

Step 6: Click ‘OK’

After selecting your choice, click ‘OK’, and Excel will highlight all the links or objects in the spreadsheet.

Once you click ‘OK’, it’s like turning on a flashlight in a dark room. All your links will be visible and highlighted, ready for you to review.


Time-savingFinding links quickly can save you hours of manual searching, especially in large and complex spreadsheets.
Data IntegrityIt enables you to maintain accurate and up-to-date information by easily locating and updating links.
TroubleshootingIdentifying all the link sources can help you troubleshoot errors related to broken or incorrect links.


Overlooked ObjectsThe ‘Go To Special’ function may not catch every type of link, such as those in charts or pivot tables.
Security RisksUncovering and potentially activating unknown links could expose your system to security risks.
Time-consumingIf you’re not familiar with Excel, finding links can be time-consuming and may require a learning curve.

Additional Information

While the aforementioned steps are your go-to guide for finding links, there are a few additional tips that can further streamline your Excel experience. Keep in mind that links in Excel aren’t just confined to hyperlinks; they can also include references to other files, formulas that pull data from different sheets, or connections to external databases. It’s crucial to regularly check these links to ensure they are not broken and that they lead to the correct, updated sources.

Additionally, if you’re collaborating with others, make sure that any linked documents are accessible to all relevant parties to avoid any data mishaps. It’s also wise to keep a backup of your data in case any links cause issues or data loss when updated. Remember, knowledge is power, and knowing how to find links in Microsoft Excel puts you in control of your data universe.


  1. Open the Excel Workbook
  2. Go to the ‘Edit’ Tab
  3. Select ‘Find’ and then ‘Go To’
  4. Click on ‘Special’
  5. Select ‘Objects’ or ‘Hyperlinks’
  6. Click ‘OK’

Frequently Asked Questions

What if the ‘Go To Special’ option doesn’t show any links?

If the ‘Go To Special’ function doesn’t highlight any links, it may be that there are none, or they could be embedded in objects not covered by this feature, like charts or pivot tables.

Can I find links in Excel on a Mac?

Yes, the process is similar on a Mac. You’ll find the ‘Find and Replace’ option under the ‘Edit’ menu, and from there, you can access ‘Go To Special’.

How can I remove or delete a link in Excel?

Once you’ve found a link, you can remove it by right-clicking the cell and selecting ‘Remove Hyperlink’, or by clearing the cell’s content if it’s a linked formula.

What does it mean if Excel says there are links but I can’t find them?

Sometimes Excel retains the memory of old links that no longer exist. You may need to check named ranges, data validation, or conditional formatting for remnants of past links.

Can I find external links that are used in formulas?

Yes, external links used in formulas can be found by searching for the ‘[‘ character, which is used by Excel to signify the start of an external link reference.


Mastering how to find links in Microsoft Excel is a vital skill for anyone who regularly works with spreadsheets. It doesn’t just save you time; it ensures that your data is connected correctly and securely. The steps outlined in this article provide a simple roadmap to uncovering and managing links in your Excel workbooks. Whether you’re an Excel newbie or a seasoned data cruncher, knowing how to navigate through the maze of links can make your work much more efficient and error-free.

Remember that staying vigilant about your data sources and connections is the key to maintaining a robust and trustworthy data ecosystem. So go ahead, dive into your spreadsheets, and start link hunting—you now have the knowledge and tools to do it like a pro!

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