Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Breaking a Document Link.

Breaking a Document Link

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 28, 2019)

At some point in working with a document you may determine that an existing document link is no longer necessary. You can break a link between your document and another application by following these steps if you are using Word 2010 or a later version:

  1. Click the File tab of the ribbon.
  2. Make sure that Info is selected at the left side of the screen.
  3. At the bottom-right side of the screen, under the Related Documents category, click Edit Links to Files. (If this option is not available, it means that Word doesn't think there are any links in the current document.) Word displays the Links dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Links dialog box.

  5. Select the link you want to break.
  6. Click on Break Link. You are asked to confirm your action.
  7. Click on OK.

The steps are a bit different if you are using Word 2007:

  1. Click the Office button and then click Prepare.
  2. Click Edit Links to Files. (If this option is not available, it means that Word doesn't think there are any links in the current document.) Word displays the Links dialog box.
  3. Select the link you want to break.
  4. Click on Break Link. You are asked to confirm your action.
  5. Click on OK.

Word breaks the link between your document and the source application, but the information remains in your document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6010) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Breaking a Document Link.

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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