Excel Formats Email Addresses

[ad]Dear Computer Lady,

I am baffled by a cell format issue in Excel (ver. 2003).

For some unknown reason, when I enter a person’s email address in a cell, Excel automatically formats the entry with a “Mailto” format or tag. So when I click on the cell, my email client opens up with a blank email message.

How do I change this to a plain vanilla data entry?


Dear Jack,

Don’t you love it when a computer program tries to make your life “easier” by guessing what you want to do?

Seriously, it is only a program so it is not guessing anything, but it has been programmed to do certain things when we enter certain types of data in a cell.

How to turn off automatic email formatting in excel

What you need to do is tell Excel that you don’t want your email addresses to turn into an active link.

Here is how to do that.

First, open your spreadsheet.

Right-click on the cell with the email address on it.

Click on “Remove Hyperlink” in the context menu that appears.

I used Excel 2010 to write these directions because I don’t have version 2003 installed on my computer. If your version isn’t exactly like this one, you should be able to find the setting with a little bit of exploring.

For those of you using LibreOffice Calc, you would right-click and then click on “Clear Direct Formatting”


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    • Tom
    • June 24, 2012

    I am using Excel 2003 and there is a way to change a whole column or row so the e-mail addresses do not hyperlink. Simply highlight (select) the row or column you wish to change and then in the menu bar at the top choose “Tools” and then “Auto Correct Options”. In the resulting window uncheck the box that says “Internet and Network paths with hyperlinks”. E-mail address entered in that column or row should now be shown as just straight, plain text not hyperlinked.
    Hope this helps.

    • Tom
    • June 24, 2012

    Actually, it appears that this turns off hyperlinking in ALL your excel files not just the hightlighted column or row. My mistake.

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