How to Convert Excel Files to Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Transitioning from Microsoft Excel to Google Sheets offers several advantages, such as seamless collaboration and easy access sync data from any device. This guide will help you understand how to convert your Excel files to Google Sheets quickly and efficiently.

Why Convert Excel Files to Google Sheets?

Switching your spreadsheets from Excel to Google Sheets allows users to leverage cloud-based functionality and collaboration features that Excel may not offer natively. Google Sheets also integrates seamlessly with other Google products like Google Docs, Google Drive, and Google Slides.

Preparing Your Excel Files

Before starting the conversion process, ensure your two Excel format files are ready for upload. Confirm that your Excel spreadsheet contains all necessary data and is free from errors. Save your Excel document in a recognizable location on your computer for easy access.

Uploading and Converting Excel Files to Google Sheets

Step 1: Access Google Drive

First, open Google Drive on your computer. Go to and log in with your Google account.

Step 2: Upload Your Excel File

In Google Drive, click the "New" button on the left-hand side of the page. From the dropdown menu, select "File upload." Locate the Excel file you want to convert and double-click on it to start the upload process. Once uploaded, the Excel file will appear in your Google Drive folder.

Step 3: Convert the Excel File to Google Sheets

To convert the uploaded Excel file to Google Sheets file format, right-click the file and select "Open with," then choose "Google Sheets." That action will open the file in Google Sheets, automatically converting the Excel data into a Google Sheets spreadsheet.

Saving the Converted File

After the file opens in Google Sheets, save it in Google Sheets format. Click "File" in the top left corner, then select "Save as Google Sheets." The step ensures the document is now a native Google Sheets file, allowing for full functionality within the Google Sheets environment.

Additional Tips for Converting Excel Files

1. Using the Import Feature

Another method involves using the click import data' feature within Google Sheets. Open a new or existing Google Sheets spreadsheet, click "File," and select "Import." Scroll to "Upload" and choose the Excel file. Follow the prompts to complete the import data process.

2. Automatically Convert Excel Files

For users who frequently work with both Excel spreadsheets and Google Sheets, it may be beneficial to set Google Drive to automatically convert uploads. Start by opening Google Drive, then click on the settings gear icon, and check the box for "Convert uploaded files to Google Docs editor format." That setting ensures that any Excel spreadsheet uploaded will automatically convert to Google Sheets format.

3. Handling Large Excel Files

When dealing with large Excel files, patience is key. Google Sheets might take some time to process and convert an excel file with extensive data. Consider breaking the file into smaller segments if possible, to facilitate a smoother conversion.

Leveraging Collaboration Features

One of the significant benefits of using Google Sheets is the ease of collaboration. Here’s how to make the most of those features:

Sharing and Permissions

To share a Google Sheets file, click the "Share" button in the top right corner. You may then enter the email addresses of the people you want to share the sheet with and set their permissions (view, comment, or edit). The functionality allows multiple users to work on the same document simultaneously, streamlining teamwork and increasing productivity.

Real-Time Collaboration

Google Sheets enables real-time collaboration, meaning changes made by one user on google sheet are instantly visible to others. The feature is particularly useful for team projects, as it eliminates the need for sending updated files back and forth.

Comments and Suggestions

To leave comments or suggestions, highlight a cell or range of cells, right-click, and select "Comment." Team members will be able to reply to comments, mark them as resolved, delete them or assign them to specific individuals, improving communication and accountability within the document.

How to Use Google Sheets Add-Ons

Google Sheets supports a variety of add on after-ons that extend its functionality. Here are some popular add-ons to better your experience:

Data Analysis Tools

Add-ons like "Solver" and "Power Tools" offer advanced data analysis capabilities, such as complex calculations, data cleansing, and improved formatting options.

Integration with Other Apps

Google Sheets integrates with other Google products and third-party apps. For example, you may use "Supermetrics" to pull data from marketing platforms directly into your Google Sheets, or "Zapier" to automate workflows between Google Sheets and other software.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

While Google Sheets is robust, you may encounter occasional issues when working with converted files. Here are some tips for troubleshooting:

Formatting Problems

Sometimes, the formatting of an Excel file may not translate perfectly into Google Sheets. To address that, manually adjust the formatting within Google Sheets. Ensure that cell sizes, fonts, and colors match your original document.

Data Loss or Errors

In rare cases, data might not be imported correctly. Double-check the original Excel file for any errors or unsupported features that could cause issues during the conversion to import excel data. If necessary, clean the data before importing it again.

Performance with Large Datasets

Google Sheets handles large datasets well, but very large files may experience slower performance. Consider splitting large datasets into multiple sheets or using Google BigQuery for more extensive data analysis needs.

Automating Tasks in Google Sheets

Automation could save time and reduce errors. Here are some ways to automate tasks in Google Sheets:

Using Macros

Google Sheets allows you to record macros to automate repetitive tasks. To record a macro, go to "Extensions" > "Macros" > "Record macro." Perform the steps you want to automate, and then save the macro for future use.

Google Apps Script

For more advanced automation, use Google Apps Script. The scripting language enables you to create custom functions, automate workflows, and integrate Google Sheets with other Google services. Access Apps Script by going to "Extensions" > "Apps Script."

Backing Up and Securing Your Data

Ensuring the safety and integrity of your data is key. Follow our tips for backing up and securing your Google Sheets data:

Regular Backups

While Google Drive offers robust data protection, it's still a good practice to regularly back up your Google Sheets files. Download your sheets as Excel files or other formats to keep local copies on your computer.

Access Controls

Use Google Sheets' sharing settings to control who has access to your data. Regularly review and update permissions to ensure that only authorized users have access to sensitive information.

Version History

Google Sheets automatically saves version history, allowing you to view and restore previous versions of your document. Access version history by clicking "File" > "Version history."


We've provided answers to some pressing questions you may need clarification on:

Can you upload XLS to Google Sheets?

Yes, uploading XLS files to Google Sheets is straightforward. Open Google Drive, click "New," select "File upload," and choose the XLS file. Once uploaded, right-click the file, select "Open with," and choose "Google Sheets" to convert it.

How do I open an XLS File in Google Sheets?

To open and convert an excel to XLS file in Google Sheets, upload the file to Google Drive, right-click it, select "Open with," and then choose "Google Sheets." The action will convert and open the file in Google Sheets.

Does Google Sheets support XLS?

Google Sheets supports XLS files. Once uploaded to Google Drive, XLS files may be opened and converted to Google Sheets format for full functionality.

How do I open large Excel files in Google Sheets?

For large Excel files, upload the file to Google Drive, right-click it, and select "Open with Google Sheets." Be prepared for a longer conversion time. If issues arise, consider splitting the file into smaller segments for easier handling.

It's as easy as that πŸŽ‰.

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