Fix slow link clicks in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc)

When working with a spreadsheet with roughly 90 rows of links, I got frustrated with a 1-3 second delay when clicking on each link.

The cause

For those who don't have Internet Explorer as their default browser (who in their right mind would?), Office has implemented a workaround which does a request internally to check the response before opening the link.

This internal request also handles other cases like checking if the link points to another spreadsheet file or an external word doc file on a network drive.

The behaviour is noticeable in Office 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and probably 2019 onwards.

Fortunately there is an easy fix which forces link clicks to be handled by the system instead of Office.

The catch

If this all sounds too good to be true, then it is.

The fix changes a setting which sets ForceShellExecute=1, which means all links will be treated as if it was clicked from within the shell (aka Windows Explorer).

Because of that, Office no longer has any way to intercept the clicks and this breaks multi-document linkage. See this page to see if any of the scenarios affect your daily workflow before running the fix.

The fix

To stop the internal request from being made (and causing delays), go to this Office troubleshooting page and download the "Easy fix".

Run it and follow the instructions.

That should be all you need to do.


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