Auto connect not working in Microsoft Visio 2013?

Compatibility: Also works in Visio 2007 and Visio 2010.

Normally in Visio 2013, when you hover over a shape, little connector indicators appear, which allow you to “auto connect” the shape to a nearby shape (or a new shape). It looks like this:

Visio 2013 - 1

Visio 2013 - 2

Visio 2013 - 3

The auto connect feature is incredibly convenient. It has literally saved me oodles of time when creating prototypes, sitemaps, workflows, and other diagrams.

About a month ago, auto connect just stopped working. In the spirit of over-complicating things, I thought something was wrong with my Visio installation (I had experienced a corrupt install with an older version of Visio at one point). So I reinstalled Visio, asked our IT guy, and tried to find a complicated solution to my horrible problem. No dice.

Visio 2013 - 5

Where’s my auto connect???!!!

After exhausting my resources, I just sort of gave up and started connecting shapes the old school (and inefficient!) way: by using the connector tool and drawing the lines. I agonized as I hearkened back to a gentler, simpler time when shapes could be connected without ever having to mess with the ribbon.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, there’s a fix for this so easy that my two-year-old could have found it. In the ribbon, go to¬†VIEW. Then, check AutoConnect.

Visio 2013 - 4

Poof, your handy-dandy auto connect indicators are back. Were you expecting something more? I was. Now get back to your mind-numbingly boring workflow!

Andrew Block

I (Andrew Block) am the Director of Analytics and Insights for MSP-C, an awesome brand journalism company in Minneapolis, MN. Insights are everywhere - and this blog explores that premise. One part geek and one part analyst, I like to blog about techy and insightful things. Or insightful techy things...or....

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  • memays

    Had similar problem, that connectors would not “stick” to the shapes I connected them to, and when the shape was moved, the connector did not follow it. Found that in addition to the Auto-Connect, option box, there is a small square in the same window that says “Visual Aids” When I clicked on that, then more options appeared, including one that said “Glue”.
    “Glue” was un-checked, and when I turned it on – Viola!! everything worked again.

  • Jen

    Thank you so much! Exactly what I was looking for :)

  • andybisnut

    Yeah it seems to randomly turn itself off. I had not toggled that feature off, so not sure what the deal is there.

  • andybisnut

    Thanks for sharing, Lisa. Good troubleshooting. :)

  • samho

    Heck, I’ve have similar issue after I moved from Evaluation to Purchased Version (2013), I could see my old figure still have their Auto-Connect on but not any newly add shape does – however, if I create new Visio Document this feature is turning on again.

    Anyway, your tips works nicely :)

    Thanks a ton!

  • Fiona

    thank you for your assistance. I tried the settings in Options\Avdanced Settings but it did not work. Your solution works!!!

  • lisawalbridgescuccimarra


    Thank you for your explanation. I had a similar problem, but for a different reason (and I am working in Viso 2007). I opened a new document and was happily creating a chart with AutoConnect when it stopped working. It stopped working when I started to manually resize some of the shapes. I opened a new blank document to see what icons were selected at the top of the page and compare that to my document that was having issues. I noticed that the pointer arrow icon was no longer selected. As soon as I reselected that, bingo! My autoconnect was back and working. i should say that AutoConnect for me was enabled the whole time that I was having this issue.