IT Tips & Tricks

Published 8 June 2017
Updated 7 April 2022

IT Professionals: Do This One Trick and Never Worry About Broken File Links Again

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“Broken file links” may not be a phrase that is frequently bandied about the IT department, yet they commonly result in lost data, downtime, frustrated users and angry bosses. The amount of time they can chew up is astronomical.

A user screaming, “My links aren’t working!” is one of those unexpected emergency calls that take up both your time and attention. The fact is that users set up complex interactions between files, such as Excel files that pull in numbers and information from multiple files. And, often, literally nobody except the user knows about it.

Users of Microsoft® PowerPoint, Adobe® InDesign and Premiere frequently use file links as the preferred means of bringing in videos and graphics (rather than embedding videos and images) in order to reduce file sizes. CAD/BIM programs (MicroStation®, AutoCAD®, Revit®), Microsoft Project and Access, and many other programs make extensive use of file linking capabilities.

. . . how about if you could just restore all the broken links with a few mouse clicks . . .

But the frustrating truth is that file links break all the time, and for a number of reasons. A user moves a file to a new folder or drive, unaware that the data in it is being used by other files, resulting in broken links and therefore missing data. The same thing happens when a drive, file or folder is renamed (whether intentionally or unwittingly.)

You have backups in place to restore the files, of course. But how about if you could just restore all the broken links with a few mouse clicks, and go enjoy a coffee, instead of having the tedium of spending hours finding and restoring backups? (Not to mention the risk of embarrassment due to a way-too-old or un-restorable backup.)


Are you tired of working late just to manually find and fix broken links? LinkFixer Advanced will save you tons of time and get you out of the office sooner.

In a data migration, where lots of files are moved, it’s virtually a given that links will break. This is an eventuality that can be planned for. Even better, with LinkFixer Advanced, you can prevent the whole broken-link problem before it happens. (You read that right.) It can automatically fix broken links when you move or rename files.

Alternatively, if you have already completed a migration (without using LinkFixer Advanced) and have lots of broken links, you can still use it to save massive man-hours by having it fix the broken links for you much faster than any other means in existence. This applies to any cause of broken links such as file system reorganization, server upgrade, or moving to the Cloud.

The most common use of LinkFixer Advanced is to protect files — while the links are still working — then restore all of them automatically after the migration. This is the modern way to "find and fix" broken links. In other words, no finding or fixing is required by you. Time for that coffee

However, it is not necessarily true that this only needs to be done right before a migration project. You can use LinkFixer Advanced to prevent data loss, save time, and reduce downtime for your users, even when you are not about to start a migration or file system change.

In other words, LinkFixer Advanced can also be used preventatively by running it on all your data that contains links.

LinkFixer Advanced’s Inoculate process (done before links are broken) creates an additional association between the parent file and each of its child files. LinkFixer Advanced uses that secondary association to quickly and automatically fix all the links that get broken by whatever changes someone makes to your files.

Once all your data is inoculated, and you keep it that way on a regular basis, your staff can do all the moving, renaming and/or folder restructuring they want, when they want, on all your files and folders with total impunity (at least as far as links are concerned). Once your staff is done having their fun moving files around, it only takes a few mouse clicks and all your broken links will work again, cutting down on hundreds of man-hours of work for your team. What’s more, end-users can screw things up all they want, and LinkFixer Advanced can still save the day (and tons of your time).

When someone comes up and says, “why don’t my file links work anymore?” you don’t even have to ask “what links?”. Just run the Cure process, and the links are restored.

Michael Sexsmith, LinkTek’s Vice President for Technology says, “LinkFixer Advanced’s Inoculate function is one of those maintenance tools that should just be run nightly or at least weekly, right along with your daily virus scans and file backup procedures. This would keep all links and any new links created safeguarded, so when anyone does any kind of move or rename, no big deal!”

Once you have your license for LinkFixer Advanced, it costs no extra to keep all the files protected. The same tool that can automatically restore all your broken links in a data migration can take away all your everyday stress regarding broken links.

Unfortunately, if someone deletes a file, LinkFixer Advanced cannot restore the link automatically. (Nothing can restore a link to a file that no longer exists.) But with LinkFixer Advanced’s Scan feature, you can find out very quickly which file is gone, and initiate the process of restoring it from your backup without wasting time looking for it.

The most common use of LinkFixer Advanced is to protect files — while the links are still working — then restore all of them automatically after the migration.

If you don’t have LinkFixer Advanced, contact us today for an online demo and free trial!

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