Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Avoiding the Update Links Message.

Avoiding the Update Links Message

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 7, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016


Michael notes that, as he expects, Word automatically updates links when he opens a document. The problem is that when other users of his workbook see the "Do you want to update links" message that appears at startup, they don't understand what is happening. Michael wonders if there is a way to either suppress the message or set the default to "Yes" (to update links) so that the message never appears.

The answer is "yes" and "sort of." (Sounds confusing, right?) You can set the default to yes, but that doesn't guarantee that the users won't be asked again about updates.

If you want to set the default to yes, so that the links will be updated automatically on your machine, you can follow these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or a later version display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left side of the dialog box, click Advanced.
  3. Scroll through the list of advanced options until you see the General group. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The General section of the Advanced options of the Word options dialog box.

  5. Make sure the Update Automatic Links at Open check box is selected.
  6. Click on OK.

With this setting established, your default is established—you want links updated when the document is opened. The problem, of course, is that this is a per-machine setting. As long as someone is using your machine, there is no problem. If you give the document (or series of documents, since there are links between them) to someone else who doesn't have the setting made, then their links won't be updated automatically.

There is one way around this, and that is with an AutoOpen macro. A simple one, to change the one setting, could appear as follows:

Sub AutoOpen()
    Word.Options.UpdateLinksAtOpen = True
End Sub

Of course, such an approach simply replaces one problem with another problem. If your users are confused by being asked about links, then there is just as great a chance that they will be confused when asked if macros should be enabled in the document they are opening.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11410) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Avoiding the Update Links Message.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

First and Last Names in a Page Header

When you have a worksheet that includes a long list of names, you may want the first and last names on each page to ...

Discover More

Updating Document Links

If you establish dynamic links between documents, then you can force Word to update those links whenever you want. How ...

Discover More

Making a Signature Line that Doesn't Disappear

Do you need to add a line to your document that indicates where a signature should be made? If you don't want that line ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Using the Style Area

The style area is an esoteric feature of Word that allows you to easily see the styles applied to the paragraphs in your ...

Discover More

Understanding the Clipboard

You can use the Clipboard to move information around in Word. You actually have access to two different clipboards in ...

Discover More

Displaying the Full Ribbon

The ribbon, displayed at the top of the Word window, is very handy with all the tools it allows you to access, but it can ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one more than 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.