The Find and Replace window in Microsoft Word is able to search linked text (i.e the anchor text) however it does not search inside the links (i.e the URLs).
This limitation seems to suggest that the only to update the links is to do it manually. This is however not practical in situations where you want to update multiple hyperlinks with the same URL in a document.
Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case. The URLs can in fact be made visible and thereafter be searched and replaced just like the normal text. Here’s how to go about it.
- Open your document and press Alt+F9 on your keyboard. On a Word for Mac the equivalent to this is Option+F9. This shortcut will toggle the Field Codes view making all hidden fields including the URLs of all hyperlinks visible.
- Next, open the Find and Replace window and in the Find box enter the link to replace, e.g. https://www.youtube.com.
- In the Replace box enter the new link then click the Replace All button. That should update all the matched links.
- Press Alt+F9 to hide the visible URLs.
- Select the entire document using Ctrl+A (or Cmd+A if on Mac) then press F9 to update all the fields. Note that if you skip this step, the hyperlinks will show the original link if you try to edit them.
- Save your document.