Linking Excel workbooks in OneDrive

This article shows how to create a link between two Excel workbooks stored in OneDrive for Business. 

When two Excel workbooks are linked, or referenced, selected cell data in the Source workbook appears in referenced cells in the Destination workbook. If data is then updated in the Source workbook, the linked cell in the Destination workbook reflects the change. 

Though it's possible to create linked cell references after simply opening files on your local machine, it should be noted that these links will only function correctly on the machine where they were created. Linking Excel workbooks in OneDrive ensures that links function correctly regardless of which machine the two OneDrive files are subsequently opened on.

When moving Excel workbooks to OneDrive for Business, you may experience broken links between workbooks. Cell references and data connections can be repaired by following the same process you used to create the initial link.


Linking cell references in two Excel workbooks

To link a Destination cell to a Source cell in two Excel workbooks in OneDrive, proceed as follows.

Open the first Excel workbook

  1. Log in to your Office 365 account and open OneDrive.
  2. Navigate to the folder/directory containing your first Excel workbook.
  3. Click on the three dots (ellipsis) to the right of the file name to reveal additional menu options.
  4. Click Open, then click Open in Excel.

Your desktop version of Excel should now open to display your first Excel workbook.

Open the second Excel workbook

  1. Repeat Step 1 to Step 4 to open your second Excel workbook in your desktop version of Excel.

Link the two Excel workbooks

  1. In the Destination workbook, enter = into the cell receiving data.
  2. Without clicking in any other cells, switch to the Source workbook and click on the cell containing the source data.
  3. Press the Enter key to confirm your cell selection.

You are automatically switched back to the Destination workbook. The receiving cell in the Destination workbook is now referenced, or linked, to the selected cell in the Source workbook. This link, created within OneDrive, will function correctly regardless of which machine the two OneDrive files are subsequently opened on.