Excel: Stop turning email addresses into clickable Mailto links

I’m working with Excel sheets that contain a lot of email addresses as well.

When updating a field, it turns the email address in a clickable “mailto” link and when I’m not careful when clicking, it opens up a new email in Outlook.

As I have no intention to email anyone directly from these lists, but do work a lot with these sheets, this is getting annoying quite fast.

Is there any way to disable this behavior in Excel?

MailTo buttonThe automatic conversion of typed email address into clickable mailto links in Excel is controlled by the same AutoCorrect option that turns typed internet addresses (URLs) into clickable hyperlinks.

If you actually need to work with the data rather than to follow links, you can turns this function off or use an alternative clicking/selection method for cells that contain hyperlinks.

Disable automatic hyperlink feature

Auto Hyperlink buttonTo disable the automatic hyperlink feature in Excel choose;

  • File-> Options-> Proofing-> AutoCorrect Options...-> AutoFormat As You Type-> uncheck: Internet and network paths with hyperlinks

Note: If this option is left enabled and AutoCorrect changes the address into a hyperlink, you can press CTRL+Z to directly undo the change.

AutoFormat can recognize email address and convert them to Mailto links.
AutoFormat can recognize email address and convert them to Mailto links.

Alternative clicking or selection method

Select buttonIf you don’t want to turn of the feature (for instance when the recipient of the Excel sheet needs to be able to click on the links), you can also use one of the following alternative clicking or selection methods;

  • Click and hold down the mouse button bit longer on the hyperlink. This will select the cell instead of activate the hyperlink.
  • Make the column a bit wider so there is white space within the cell so you can click or double click there without activating the hyperlink.
  • Click in a nearby cell that doesn’t have a hyperlink and use the arrow keys on your keyboard to select the hyperlinked cell. You can then press F2 to edit the contents.
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