Fast Tip Friday: Refresh Data Connections in Excel on Open

By Patricia Egen • March 27th, 2015

Patricia Egen Consulting Fast TipsWe do a lot of spreadsheet reporting against a variety of data environments – for example ACT, Quickbooks, and other SQL vertical applications.  By default, Excel does not automatically refresh the data connections when you open the file.  You need to “turn on” this option.  Note, if the data being imported is a large amount, this will mean it will take longer to open your Excel file – which is why it is turned off by default.

Here’s what you do to turn it on.


  1. Click on the Data tab in Excel.
  2. Next, in the Connections area, click on the word Connections
  3. Highlight the connection document for the data
  4. Click on Properties
  5. Check the “Refresh data when opening file.
  6. Save the spreadsheet and your data will refresh every time you open the file.



By Dan Upshaw on October 8th, 2015 at 4:41 pm


I have a spreadsheet in which I am importing data from an XML file on the web. When I refresh this data manually, It refreshes with no problem. However, even though I have the connection set to refresh when I open the file and refresh automatically every 10 minutes, it does neither. I can close the file down and open it up and there is no change. Can you help? I am pulling my hair out with this.

Thank you!
Dan Upshaw


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