Introduction to Link Checker for Word

A smart tool for checking links in your Word files

Link Checker thoroughly scans your opened Word document, finds all the links it contains, and differentiates between valid, invalid, and questionable entries. The add-on lists the search results in a simple way making it possible for you to quickly navigate through the found links, correct invalid ones, and reconsider those that are questionable.

Microsoft Office Windows
  • Word included in Microsoft 365
  • Word 2019
  • Word 2016
  • Note! Office Insider is not supported
  • Windows 11
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7
  • Note! Windows Insider is not supported
  • Note! Windows X (on ARM processors) is not supported

To successfully install and activate the add-in, follow our installation and activation instructions.

To run Link Checker, open a Word document and click the tool icon under the AbleBits tab:
Click the Link Checker icon.
The add-in pane will appear presenting the following options to choose from:
The Link Checker pane

  1. To look for links in the entire Word file, select Search in: All document. To limit the scope of the search to a certain part of the document, choose Search in: Selection only.

    You can also narrow down the search in the whole document either to the main text or to the headers and footers. Just pick the corresponding option.

  2. Check off Include links from TOC if you would like entries from the table of contents to be displayed among the search results.
  3. With the Include shape and image links option selected, the add-in looks for hyperlinks created on these objects and for hyperlinks leading to the files connected with them.
    Note. The add-in does not process links located in text boxes inside shapes.
  4. To verify that the links leading to Internet resources and other documents can be followed, select the Check external links option.
  5. The Check internal links option provides an opportunity to compare the display text of hyperlinks and cross-references leading to a place in the same document with the text of the range they refer to. With this option checked off, the add-in will mark the link as questionable when the display text and the text of the range do not coincide.
  6. Pick the Check page number cross-references option to verify the corresponding PageRef fields.
    Note. If your Word document contains a lot of external links and cross-references to page numbers, the check may be time-consuming.
  7. Opting for Do not warn before unlinking or deleting prevents the tool from showing a notification each time you are going to remove links.

After you decide on your criteria and check off the corresponding options on the Link Checker pane, click the Find links button to launch a search.

Note. The options you choose will be saved for the next search.

When scanning is over, you will see the summary of the search results:
The search summary
All found links will be displayed on the add-in pane:
The Link Checker pane with the search results

  1. At the top of the add-in pane, there is a toolbar with the following action buttons: Check Link(s), Go to Link, Follow Link, Edit Link(s), Unlink or Delete, Copy to Clipboard, Reset Sorting, and Sync Selection.
  2. To the right of the toolbar, a filtering block is located. It lets you show, hide, and clear the filter fields.
  3. The search results are presented in a table consisting of five columns: State, Type, Link (the link display text), Refers to (the link address), and Document area (the main text, headers, and footers).
  4. Comments on invalid and questionable links are displayed in the Description area under the search results.
  5. At the bottom-right corner of the add-in pane, you can see the New search button. By clicking it, you will go back to the starting point where you can change the search criteria.

To learn how to work with the search results, visit our help page.

By default, the Link Checker pane is placed vertically on the left side of the Word document window. That is where you can see it on running the tool for the first time. However, moving the pane to the right side of the document window is also possible:

  1. Hover the cursor over the pane header, click on it, and start dragging.
  2. Holding the mouse button pressed, move the pane towards the right dock until you see a blue-gray area:
    Moving the Link Checker pane
  3. Put the cursor on the dock icon to fix the pane in the desired position. Here you go:
    The new position of the Link Checker pane

When you run Link Checker next time, its pane will be on the right side of the document window. You can always move the pane back if you want to.

All our documentation on Link Checker is available here:


Joan Edwards says:
April 25, 2023 at 9:37 pm

I have installed ablebits Hyperlink checker add in for Microsoft Word.
I don't see it listed in the names of the Add ins. Nor do I see it in the top ribbon.

Do I have to purchase a license before it will show up?


Hello Joan,

Thank you for your comment. Sorry to hear that you are having difficulties with our add-in.

Please first check what versions of Word the add-in supports:

If you use one of the supported versions, then please try to enable the add-in as described here (the steps are for Excel, but they work the same for Word):

Should you need any further assistance from our side, please email us at

Stupid question, but I cannot figure out how to close the link checker pane once I activate it.

Hello Jeff,

Thank you for your question.

Please note that there are two small buttons at the upper-right corner of the add-in pane. The button with the cross will close the pane, the button with the double arrow will minimize the pane.

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

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