How to remove mail merge data source from Word document

The following steps show how to remove the link between a Word document and a mail merge data source.

When you open a Word document that has mail merge data source you see a message that reads:

Opening this document will run the following SQL command: 

These steps work in both Word 2013 and Word 2016.


  1. With the Word document open, open the ‘Mailings’ tab
  2. Click on the ‘Start Mail Merge’ button
  3. Then click on ‘Normal Word Document’
  4. Word2016-DisconnectMailMergeSource2
  5. Close the save the document – the link to the data source has now been removed.

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13 comments on “How to remove mail merge data source from Word document

  1. THANK YOU! Really helped me a looot as I was having my work no saved and reestarted like 4 times and was over frustration! Thank you so so much! It has worked!

  2. Last year I created a mail merge document top mimic an ornate WORD document which I was asked to complete to send as an annual return. I set up a 2-column Excel sheet to hold the data (easy to scan down and edit) and wrote a small VBA macro to copy this col A, B data to rows 1 and 2. I then used this as the data source for my mailmerge. One year down theline, I have edited the EXCEL with new names etc but the &*%! insists on holding on to the 2020 data. I have moved the old data file out of the direectory.. I have nulled the link when opening the mail merge. I have re-ru the Mail Merge wizard but it makes no difference. Evrey time I try preview, I see “Annual Return 2020” again. Any ideas?

  3. I just tried this, and I’m still getting the &*%! prompt. I need to be able to share the finished merge across the company (its a bunch of labels for samples) and that means separating it from the source while keeping the data in it.

    Why did they make this so hard?

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