Prevent Word, Excel, PowerPoint from Hyperlinking Screenshots

Screenshots are a great way to demonstrate concepts and features in documents and presentations. However, Microsoft Office apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint have a tendency to automatically hyperlink screenshots, especially if they are of web browser windows.

While automatic hyperlinking can be useful in some cases, it can also be distracting and even confusing for your readers. Fortunately, there are a few straightforward ways to prevent Office apps from adding hyperlinks to your screenshots.

In this article, we will cover the step-by-step instructions to stop Word, Excel, and PowerPoint from automatically hyperlinking screenshots using:

  • In-built settings
  • Group Policy Editor
  • Registry Editor

Use In-built Settings to Turn Off Automatic Hyperlinks

The easiest way to prevent automatic hyperlinks on screenshots is to use the built-in settings in Office apps. Here’s how to do it:

1. Open the Office App and Click on Options

Launch the Office app like Word, Excel, or PowerPoint where you want to disable auto hyperlinks.

Click on the File > Options menu item to open the application options.

Office Options

2. Go to Advanced Settings

In the left sidebar, click on Advanced to open the advanced settings.

Advanced Settings

3. Turn Off Auto Hyperlink for Screenshots

In the advanced settings, scroll down and check the Do not automatically hyperlink screenshots option.

This will prevent screenshots inserted in the document from automatically having a hyperlink added.

4. Click OK to Save Settings

Finally, click OK at the bottom to apply the changes. Now screenshots added will not automatically hyperlink.

And that’s it! The built-in settings make it quick and easy to disable auto hyperlinks for screenshots.

Use Group Policy Editor to Turn Off Hyperlinks

If you want to disable auto hyperlinks for all users in your organization, the best way is to use Group Policy Editor. Follow these steps:

1. Search for Group Policy Editor

Hit the Windows key and type “gpedit” to find the Local Group Policy Editor app. Launch the Group Policy Editor.

Launch GPEdit

2. Go to User Configuration > Administrative Templates

In the editor, navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Microsoft Office 2016 > Graphics.

This is where Office 2016 policies are stored.

Office 2016 Graphics Policies

3. Open Do Not Automatically Hyperlink Screenshots

Double click on the Do not automatically hyperlink screenshots policy to open it.

4. Enable the Policy Setting

In the policy window, switch the option to Enabled to turn on this group policy.

5. Click Apply and OK

Finally, click Apply and OK to activate this policy. Now Office 2016 apps will block auto hyperlinks for screenshots across your organization.

And that’s how you can utilize Group Policy Editor to enforce the auto hyperlink setting for Office suite.

Use Registry Editor to Stop Auto Hyperlinks

The last method to disable screenshot hyperlinks is by editing the Windows Registry. Here is what you need to do:

1. Launch Registry Editor

Hit Windows + R to open the Run command box. Type “regedit” and click OK to launch Registry Editor.

2. Navigate to Office Key

Go to the following registry key:


3. Add New Key Named Security

Right click on the Common key and select New > Key. Name the new key Security.

Registry Editor Security Key

4. Create New DWORD Value

With Security key selected, go to Edit > New > DWORD Value. Give it the name DisableHyperlinkWarning.

5. Modify the DWORD Value

Double click on the new DisableHyperlinkWarning value and set the value data to 1.

6. Restart Office App

Finally, close and restart your Office application. The auto hyperlink setting should now be turned off using the registry tweak.

And that concludes how you can stop Office apps from applying automatic hyperlinks to screenshots via Registry Editor.

Fix Hyperlink Warnings for Office 365/2016

Modern versions of Microsoft Office can display security warnings when you click on hyperlinks leading to certain URL types like FTP or File paths. This can interrupt workflows if the warning pops up frequently.

Here is how you can fix hyperlink warnings in Office 365/2016 apps:

1. Launch Office App and Go to Options

Open any Office application like Word or Excel and click on File > Options.

2. Click on Trust Center > Trust Center Settings

Go to the left pane and click on Trust Center, then click on Trust Center Settings.

Office Trust Center

3. Open Protected View and Uncheck Warnings

Go to Protected View and uncheck options like “Enable Protected View for files originating from the Internet” and “Enable Protected View for files located in potentially unsafe locations”.

4. Disable Messages for Unsafe Locations

Go to External Content and uncheck the option “Display alerts about files from potentially unsafe locations”.

5. Click OK to Apply Settings

Finally, click OK to save the changes and disable hyperlink warnings.

Now Office will no longer show interruptive security messages when clicking on local file hyperlinks.

Wrap Up

And that concludes some easy ways to stop Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other Office applications from automatically adding hyperlinks when you insert screenshots.

The methods range from built-in settings to using advanced tools like Group Policy Editor and Registry Editor to enforce the behavior across your organization.

In addition, for modern Office versions you may need to tweak some security settings to prevent warnings from interrupting workflows when clicking on file hyperlinks.

Implementing these steps will allow you to insert screenshots freely without automatic hyperlinks getting in the way during document creation and presentations.

Let me know in the comments if disabling auto hyperlinks for screenshots helped improve your Office productivity!