Convert Excel To Google Sheets: A Hassle-Free Guide

Ever created a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel and then needed to collaborate with someone who doesn’t have it? Or maybe you’re just tired of juggling two or more software and want to settle on one for good. Understanding the compatibility and differences between Excel and Google Sheets can significantly streamline this transition. Luckily, there’s a smooth way to transition your spreadsheets to Google Sheets, a free online tool that’s pretty similar to Excel.

As you read on, this guide will show the different methods of converting Excel files from xlsx file to Google Sheets, making the process as easy as possible. Whether you have a single spreadsheet or a whole folder full of Excel files (.xlsx), you’ll be editing and sharing them in Google Sheets in just a few clicks.

Why do people use Google Sheets instead of Excel?

There are several reasons, but the most common ones you’re likely to hear are:

  • Free: Google Sheets is entirely free to use, while Microsoft Excel requires a paid subscription.

  • Collaboration: Google Sheets allows real-time collaboration with multiple users simultaneously, making it ideal for teamwork.

  • Accessibility: Google Sheets, part of the Google Docs suite, is accessible from any device with an internet connection, offering greater flexibility than software-based Excel. This integration within Google Docs facilitates the automatic conversion of Excel files into Google Sheets within Google Drive's settings, enhancing accessibility.

Converting Your Excel Files: Three Easy Methods

There are three main ways to convert your Excel files to Google Sheets, each with its own advantages, including the ability to convert uploaded files automatically as they are uploaded to Google Drive. This process simplifies the conversion of Excel spreadsheets by toggling on an option in Google Drive's settings menu.

1. Upload and Convert

Here’s the simplest method for converting individual Excel files. Here’s how it works:

  • Head to your Google Drive. Click the “New” button in the top left corner and select “File upload.”

  • Choose the Excel file (.xlsx) you want to convert.

  • Once uploaded, a preview of the file will appear. In the top right corner, you’ll see a button labeled “Open with Google Sheets.” Click on it.

Google Sheets will automatically convert your Excel file and open it as a Google Sheets spreadsheet. You should be able to edit, format, and collaborate on the spreadsheet with others in real time. The converted file will be in the Google Docs editor format, allowing for seamless integration and use within the Google Drive ecosystem.

2. Import Excel Data

Importing Excel data is useful if you only want to import specific data or sheets from your Excel file into a new excel sheet or existing Google Sheet.

  • Open a Google Sheet or create a new one.

  • Go to the "File" menu and select "Import."

  • A window will pop up allowing you to choose the file you want to import. Select your Excel file from Google Drive or upload it from your computer.

  • In the "Import data" section, you'll see options for how you want to import the data. You could choose to create a new spreadsheet, insert new sheets into your existing spreadsheet, or even replace the entire contents of your current sheet.

  • Additionally, you could specify which sheet(s) from your Excel file you want to import and adjust the import range to include only the data you need.

Click "Import data" and your chosen Excel data will be transferred to your Google Sheet in the specified format.

3. Save as Google Sheets

Did you know you can convert an excel file in Excel format directly from within Google Drive? Here’s how:

  • Locate your Excel file (.xlsx) in Google Drive.

  • Right-click on the file and select “Open with” from the menu.

  • Choose “Google Sheets” from the list of applications.

A copy of your Excel file will be opened as a Google Sheets spreadsheet. You’re then free to edit, sync data, and save it directly in Google Sheets format.

Note: While Google Sheets strives to maintain the formatting and functionality of your original Excel file or files during conversion, there might be some limitations. Complex formulas or specific formatting might not translate perfectly. It’s always a good idea to review your converted spreadsheet after the process to ensure everything looks as expected.

Advanced Conversion Options and FAQs

The methods above cover the most common scenarios for converting Excel files to Google Sheets but there are some additional options for specific needs:


Google Sheets offers various add-ons that handle more complex Excel file conversions. The add-ons tackle tasks like preserving advanced formatting or converting multiple Excel files at once. Explore the G Suite Marketplace to find add-ons that suit your specific conversion needs.

Third-party tools

If you're dealing with a large number of Excel files or require highly specialized conversion, there are third-party tools available to handle bulk conversions or address specific formatting challenges.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I open an Excel File in Google Sheets?

Yes, with the methods and settings described above, you’ll upload and convert your Excel files to Google Sheets format for editing and collaboration.

What is the difference between Google Sheets and Excel?

Both programs offer spreadsheet functionalities, but there are key differences. Excel is a software program requiring installation, while Google Sheets is a cloud-based application accessible from a web browser. Google Sheets excels in real-time collaboration and ease of access, while Excel offers a wider range of advanced features and functions.

Do companies prefer Excel or Google Sheets?

The preference depends on the company's needs and existing software ecosystem. Companies heavily invested in Microsoft products might favor Excel for its integration capabilities. However, companies looking for a cost-effective and collaborative solution to Excel spreadsheets often find Google Sheets a perfect fit.

Can I open an Excel File in Google Sheets?

Yes, using the methods described above, you can upload and convert your Excel files to Google Sheets format for editing and document collaboration.

How do I share an Excel spreadsheet in Google Sheets?

While you can't directly share an Excel file in Google Sheets, you can also convert Excel files to it using the methods above and then share the converted Google Sheets file with edit or view permissions as needed.

Can you replace Excel with Google Sheets?

For many users, Google Sheets offers a viable alternative to Excel, especially for basic spreadsheet tasks and collaborative work. However, Excel still holds the edge for users who require advanced features, complex data analysis tools, or tight integration with other Microsoft products.

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