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EXCEL 2016 - Hyperlink Unusual behaviour

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    EXCEL 2016 - Hyperlink Unusual behaviour

    Hello all,
    Hope someone can help with this unusual problem.
    I'm using EXCEL 2016, on a spreadsheet I have a list of musical tracks that I have hyperlinks to various music database websites.
    As of 17/4/2021, any hyperlinks to "discogs.com" no longer work with the error "Unable to open ...... Cannot download the information you requested"
    I've scoured the internet looking for answers, the Microsoft fix about adding entries to the registry don't work.
    The untick in web option for "save links on exit" didn't work.
    I can manually type in any internet address in a cell and the link works, I can create a function HYPERLINK to any website.
    Its just the discogs.com link that doesn't work.
    Does anyone know if EXCEL can individually block a website, or how the information is passed to your default browser. (Which is EDGE Version 89.0.774.77 (Official build) (64-bit))
    I access the website no problems from EDGE.. its just something is not working between EXCEL -> EDGE -> Website
    Thanks if anyone can help... please.
    Jeff

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    Re: EXCEL 2016 - Hyperlink Unusual behaviour

    Please provide the entire actual URL that you are getting an error on. I assume this URL is a public site and no login is required. Given the fact that this just started yesterday and it's only one site, it is almost certainly something they changed on the site rather than something in Excel. It may be that the site detects this as a bot.

    Are you using the HYPERLINK function or do you have the link configured for the cell?
    Jeff
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    Re: EXCEL 2016 - Hyperlink Unusual behaviour

    Thanks for the reply.
    so that this text doesn't recognise the URL I as I don't have enough posts yet, I'll space it out.

    The real address is;
    https://www.discogs.com/

    to get to this via excel, I have this function in the cell
    =HYPERLINK(CONCATENATE("https://www.discogs.com/search/?q=",A1),"Link")

    where A1 contains artist and track name, e.g. "depeche mode enjoy the silence"

    this search works from word and powerpoint of which both are in the same office pack pro(2016), just not excel.

    no login is needed to search, anyone can use this search query.
    Thank you
    Last edited by 6StringJazzer; 04-23-2021 at 09:39 AM. Reason: Fixed links for new user

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    Re: EXCEL 2016 - Hyperlink Unusual behaviour

    I don't have the solution yet but I am able to reproduce this problem on Excel 365. I'll see what I can find out.

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    Re: EXCEL 2016 - Hyperlink Unusual behaviour

    I still don't know what the problem is but I built a web page to capture the HTTP header and here is what I found. The only difference I see is that in Excel, the cookies are not sent. They are sent in the browser and also in Word. The cookie is not something I configured myself and may be part of my web host's default environment to support visitor statistics.

    The only possibility I can think of is that discogs.com also has cookies and if you send a header without the cookies it won't accept it. Since this is the only site where you have this problem, I would contact them for tech support and ask if they require cookies in the header.

    Excel using Chrome as the default browser:

    Host: [redacted].com
    Connection: keep-alive
    Upgrade-Insecure-Requests: 1
    User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/89.0.4389.128 Safari/537.36
    Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,image/avif,image/webp,image/apng,*/*;q=0.8,application/signed-exchange;v=b3;q=0.9
    Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
    Accept-Language: en-US,en;q=0.9
    Content-Length: 0

    Directly in Chrome:

    Host: [redacted].com
    Connection: keep-alive
    Upgrade-Insecure-Requests: 1
    User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/89.0.4389.128 Safari/537.36
    Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,image/avif,image/webp,image/apng,*/*;q=0.8,application/signed-exchange;v=b3;q=0.9
    Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
    Accept-Language: en-US,en;q=0.9
    Cookie: _tccl_visitor=24e2b377-5391-4465-b87d-079605606a05; _tccl_visit=24e2b377-5391-4465-b87d-079605606a05
    Content-Length: 0

    Excel using Edge as the default browser:

    Host: [redacted].com
    Connection: keep-alive
    Upgrade-Insecure-Requests: 1
    User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/90.0.4430.72 Safari/537.36 Edg/90.0.818.39
    Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,image/webp,image/apng,*/*;q=0.8,application/signed-exchange;v=b3;q=0.9
    Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
    Accept-Language: en-US,en;q=0.9
    Content-Length: 0

    Directly in Edge:

    Host: [redacted].com
    Connection: keep-alive
    Upgrade-Insecure-Requests: 1
    User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/90.0.4430.72 Safari/537.36 Edg/90.0.818.39
    Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,image/webp,image/apng,*/*;q=0.8,application/signed-exchange;v=b3;q=0.9
    Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
    Accept-Language: en-US,en;q=0.9
    Cookie: _tccl_visitor=24e2b3a8-4050-4b6b-81a4-03632411aa59; _tccl_visit=24e2b3a8-4050-4b6b-81a4-03632411aa59
    Content-Length: 0

    Microsoft Word using Chrome as the default browser:

    Host: www.[redacted].com
    Connection: keep-alive
    Upgrade-Insecure-Requests: 1
    User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/89.0.4389.128 Safari/537.36
    Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,image/avif,image/webp,image/apng,*/*;q=0.8,application/signed-exchange;v=b3;q=0.9
    Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
    Accept-Language: en-US,en;q=0.9
    Cookie: _tccl_visitor=23c75b05-4955-44cf-888f-021557070fe8; PHPSESSID=b48ef90014554bd0ed02e2dccc191ef7
    Content-Length: 0
    Last edited by 6StringJazzer; 04-19-2021 at 09:40 AM.

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    Re: EXCEL 2016 - Hyperlink Unusual behaviour

    I did contact their support email, but I've not had a reply yet.
    I did notice that Microsoft Edge was updated the night before but every other webpage is working okay thru hyperlinks..
    Sigh...
    Thanks for your help

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    Re: EXCEL 2016 - Hyperlink Unusual behaviour

    Edge is not the issue. I had the same behavior using Edge and Chrome. I am certain that this is some configuration at the discogs.com server. It may be a deliberate attempt to prohibit bots from doing searches to limit traffic. Or it could be that they made a change that had an unintended side effect.

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    Re: EXCEL 2016 - Hyperlink Unusual behaviour

    I also did a test with curl, and got

    308 Permanent Redirect

    The response is a 308 error which indicates that the site is no longer at that URL. This pretty much clinches my theory that they require cookies. You may have noticed that when you first enter the site there is a prompt at the bottom asking you to accept cookies. They probably made a change over the weekend. Europe requires this notification and I think a lot of U.S. sites are adopting it to be compliant.

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    Re: EXCEL 2016 - Hyperlink Unusual behaviour

    I've cleared my cookie cache, then I've gone to the discogs page and a popup comes up asking to accept cookies, on that popup is a variety of settings, I just accept all. Then I've logged into my account, and still the same result as before.
    I'm still waiting on a response from the webpage ticket, but I'm not holding my breathe.
    Thanks for your help..

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    Re: EXCEL 2016 - Hyperlink Unusual behaviour

    I think the way that Excel links work is that it directly sends the HTTP request to the site and then Windows delegates the response to the default web browser. Excel is not asking Edge to send the request on its behalf, and Excel doesn't have cookies. Excel makes a request without cookies and the site doesn't like it so they send back a 308. I don't know the internals of Office and Windows but that model is consistent with everything I'm seeing. Which is to say, it doesn't matter what you do in Edge--clear cache, login, accept cookies, stand on your head--the Excel request won't work.

    Word may work differently, and may indeed ask Edge to send the request, in which case the cookies are sent.

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    Re: EXCEL 2016 - Hyperlink Unusual behaviour

    Just had a Microsoft remote agent and conversation, and after an hour the solution was to reinstall office .... really?

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    Re: EXCEL 2016 - Hyperlink Unusual behaviour

    I am skeptical (sorry, sceptical), but it's possible. When an agent doesn't know what to do they tell you to reboot and then if that doesn't work, reinstall. I have seen a couple of weird problems solved by a reinstallation but in this case I'm pretty sure I understand the cause since I could reproduce it with curl.

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    Re: EXCEL 2016 - Hyperlink Unusual behaviour

    So the plot thickens ....
    A Support person from discogs.com has tried duplicating problem by using my spreadsheet that I sent them and it works?
    I've asked for version of excel and web browser just to confirm..
    Also I've tried it from workplace on EXCEL365 and it produced the same error. So I'm completely bewildered now...

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    Re: EXCEL 2016 - Hyperlink Unusual behaviour

    Was playing around with cookies deleting specific cookies for the discogs.com site, managed to get in to goto my home page within discogs... amazing it worked.
    Closed my excel and then opened it again... did the same thing ... and now it doesn't work...... I'm losing my sanity...

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    Re: EXCEL 2016 - Hyperlink Unusual behaviour

    Well, I don't know how that's possible.

    A workaround is possible using VBA. There are two ways to do it. The easy way IMHO is to use Internet Explorer, because there is an object available for it in VBA. It would also be possible to do it in Edge but that involved sending keyboard commands to the Edge window, which I have not done before. I will create a prototype to determine feasibility.

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    Re: EXCEL 2016 - Hyperlink Unusual behaviour

    Discogs.com support got back to me today, They've shown me a video of the hyperlink working correctly..
    They also said that a recent change to the website may be causing it, but its definately not affecting them.
    Back to square one...

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    Re: EXCEL 2016 - Hyperlink Unusual behaviour

    So another little update.. I was clicking away for another site... and was working okay... then it stopped working...
    It was caused by that stupid robot capcha thingo (where you have to click pictures) that appears when you open multiple searches to a single website.
    Now I can no longer get to that website.. until I clear the cookie cache.
    It would appear that it has nothing to do with excel but the website which is causing the problem.
    Anyone's care to try it out?

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    Re: EXCEL 2016 - Hyperlink Unusual behaviour

    Quote Originally Posted by Squaregame View Post
    Same problem here
    Do you mean you have hyperlinks in Excel to discogs.com that are not working?

    Edit: Disregard, Squaregame has been banned for spam.
    Last edited by 6StringJazzer; 04-27-2021 at 06:37 PM.

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    Re: EXCEL 2016 - Hyperlink Unusual behaviour

    Just an update, after some correspondence with Discogs.com, they're resolved the issue. It was a website issue that prevented the link from working. Will change this to resolved.

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    Re: EXCEL 2016 - Hyperlink Unusual behaviour

    The error you see Unable to open ...... Cannot download the information you requested" is a very usual error when hyperlinks do not work in the excel sheet. There are a few ways to fix this, I am sharing a few steps which might help in this case.
    Open Excel Workbook ->Go to File->Options->Advanced Scroll down to find the General tab and click on Web Options
    Web Options Window pops-up
    On Web Options, pop-up, Click on Files and Uncheck the box for Update Links on save
    Click OK button and your option is saved.
    Cheers!

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