Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell is a digital content writer at UnliHow. He keeps on pursuing opportunities to engage with more people through articles IT-related issues.

How to disable Dynamic Data Exchange in Excel

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How to disable Dynamic Data Exchange in Excel

If you wish to disable Dynamic Data Exchange or DDE in Excel, here is all the information you need about this protocol and how to deactivate it. There are three methods to accomplish this – using Excel Options, the Local Group Policy Editor, or the Registry Editor.

How to turn off Dynamic Data Exchange in Excel

What is Dynamic Data Exchange Server in Excel?

Dynamic Data Exchange Server is a protocol used to exchange data between two or more applications, including Excel itself. For example, if you link an Excel file to a Word document and the DDE Server protocol is enabled, the embedded file in Word will update automatically when changes are made to the Excel spreadsheet.

If you don’t want this auto-update functionality and want the data to remain as it was at the time of embedding, disabling the Dynamic Data Exchange Server is the best course of action.

How to disable Dynamic Data Exchange in Excel

Follow these steps to turn off Dynamic Data Exchange in Excel:

  1. Open the Excel app.
  2. Click on the Options menu.
  3. Go to Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > External Content.
  4. Locate the Enable Dynamic Data Exchange Server Lookup setting.
  5. Uncheck the checkbox.
  6. Click the OK button.
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To learn more about these steps, continue reading.

Begin by opening the Excel app on your computer and clicking on the Options menu. Then, switch to the Trust Center tab and click the Trust Center Settings button.

Next, navigate to the External Content tab and find the Enable Dynamic Data Exchange Server Lookup option.

How to turn off Dynamic Data Exchange in Excel

Uncheck the corresponding checkbox and click the OK button.

How to disable Dynamic Data Exchange in Excel using Group Policy

To disable Dynamic Data Exchange in Excel using Group Policy, follow these steps:

  1. Press Win+R > type msc and click the OK button.
  2. Navigate to Trust Center > External Content in User Configuration.
  3. Double-click on the Don’t allow Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) server lookup in Excel setting.
  4. Select the Enabled option.
  5. Click the OK button.

Let’s delve into these steps in detail.

Note: In order to use this method, you must install the Administrative Templates for Office.

To get started, press the Win+R buttons simultaneously to open the Run prompt. Then, type gpedit.msc and click the OK button to open the Local Group Policy Editor. Next, navigate to the following path:

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Microsoft Excel 2016 > Excel Options > Security > Trust Center > External Content

Here, you will find a setting named Don’t allow Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) server lookup in Excel. Double-click on this setting and select the Enabled option.

How to turn off Dynamic Data Exchange in Excel

Finally, click the OK button to save the change.

How to disable Dynamic Data Exchange in Excel using Registry

To disable Dynamic Data Exchange in Excel using the Registry, follow these steps:

  1. Search for regedit in the Taskbar search box.
  2. Click on the corresponding search result and click the Yes button.
  3. Navigate to office16.0excelsecurity in HKCU.
  4. Right-click on security > New > Key and name it external content.
  5. Right-click on external content > New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  6. Name it disableddeserverlookup.
  7. Double-click on it to set the Value data as 1.
  8. Click the OK button.
  9. Restart your computer.
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Let’s find out more about these steps.

First, search for regedit in the Taskbar search box, click on the corresponding search result, and click the Yes button to open the Registry Editor.

Once open, navigate to this path:

HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftoffice16.0excelsecurity

If you can’t find this path, you need to create it manually. In that case, navigate to the following path:

HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwarePoliciesMicrosoft

Then, create the sub-keys accordingly.

If you can find the first path, right-click on security > New > Key and name it external content.

How to turn off Dynamic Data Exchange in Excel

Next, right-click on external content > New > DWORD (32-bit) Value and name it disableddeserverlookup.

How to turn off Dynamic Data Exchange in Excel

Double-click on it and set the Value data as 1, then click the OK button.

How to turn off Dynamic Data Exchange in Excel

Finally, close all windows and restart your computer.

How can I disable the DDE server?

To disable DDE server lookup in Excel, first open the Excel Options wizard. Then, go to Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > External Content. Locate the Enable Dynamic Data Exchange Server lookup option and uncheck the checkbox. Finally, click the OK button to save the change.

How can I enable Dynamic Data Exchange in Excel?

To enable Dynamic Data Exchange in Excel, open the Local Group Policy Editor first. Then, go to the following path: User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Microsoft Excel 2016 > Excel Options > Security > Trust Center > External Content. Double-click on the Don’t allow Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) server lookup in Excel setting and select the Not Configured option. Click the OK button to save the change.

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Read: Microsoft Excel cannot access the file

Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell is a digital content writer at UnliHow. He keeps on pursuing opportunities to engage with more people through articles IT-related issues.
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