Avatar of William Peck
William Peck
Flag for United States of America asked on

Pivot table source data is external, seems to work fine, but I can't read the external file

I have a spreadsheet with a pivot table that has an external data source. When I open it and am connected to work VPN, it works fine.

If I save the file locally, disconnect from the VPN, then re-open the file, it says "WARNING External Data Connections have been disabled" ... so it seems to me that when I am connected to the VPN it can read the source data for the Pivot table.

The source data is '\Users\[user_name]\Documents\[Oracle Exports]\[file_name.xlsx]1980-2020 Data'!$A$1:$L$42536 ... if I plug that into Windows Explorer, it says it can't find it.

The file name looks like its a file on someone's PC, but I'm not quite sure. If it was on the original owner's PC, it would be something like C:\Users\willi\Documents ... 

The owner of the source data is away for 2 weeks. 

So just wondering about what's happening with this - if I can't read the data by pointing to the file in Windows Explorer, how does Excel read it? 

How could I test this out?

Microsoft ExcelNetworkingMicrosoft Office

Avatar of undefined
Last Comment
William Peck

8/22/2022 - Mon
Patrick Bogers

View this solution by signing up for a free trial.
Members can start a 7-Day free trial and enjoy unlimited access to the platform.
See Pricing Options
Start Free Trial
Ask your own question & get feedback from real experts
Find out why thousands trust the EE community with their toughest problems.
William Peck


ok, very good, makes sense. I just wanted to check here before hitting up our Admins, and wanted to confirm my suspicion before doing that.

William Peck


I tested it out this morning, so Excel for local files doesn't include 'C:\***", e.g.,
\Users\peck\Pictures\Misc\Excel Pivot table test\[Graduation_Rates_(all).xlsx]All Data'!$B$4:$R$31596

but for a network location, it includes the drive letter, e.g.
'J:\IR_DATA\Peck-tickets\Excel Pivot table test\[Graduation_Rates_(all).xlsx]All Data'!$B$4:$R$31596

so conclusion for my original question is it's a local file, the PC owner just created a folder in \Users for [user_name] and placed  the file there ... I was a little confused because the general policy is a user cannot create folders in \Users\***

But thanks!
Rob Henson

May have been created inadvertently.

User could have been working on the network file and requested extra information for that file. Data was received in an email and created a link to the file received which may have been saved in their documents or download folder.

All of life is about relationships, and EE has made a viirtual community a real community. It lifts everyone's boat
William Peck
William Peck


thanks for the clarification ... makes sense ...