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How To Import Excel Into Google Sheets – 2 Easiest Methods [2024]

Google Sheets is a cloud-based spreadsheet program with unique features like a real-time collaboration that dominates rivals, including Microsoft Excel. It’s free-to-use and offers seamless integration with Google services.

Simply put, Google Sheets is an advanced and versatile piece of software for users.

If you are looking for the steps to import your Microsoft Excel file in Google Sheets, then this is the right place.

Many legacy industries are using Microsoft Excel to manage their data. The good news is that users can easily import Excel files into Google Sheets. Users don’t need to stick to Excel alone for data organization, team collaboration, etc.

Google Sheets has an in-built tool to import files in the following format,

  • CSV (Comma-separated)
  • TSV (Tab-separated)
  • XS
  • XLSX
  • XLSM
  • TXT
  • ODS
  • TSB

In this article, let us discuss the quickest methods to import Excel into Google Sheets and explore the limitations that may hinder the conversion.

Excel to Google Sheets: Supported File Types

Google Sheets’ seamless compatibility with Microsoft Excel allows you to import files in the following format:

  • .xls (1997-2003 Workbook) 
  • .xlsx (Excel Workbook)
  • .csv (Comma-Separated Values)
  • .tsv (Tab-Separated Values)
  • .ods (Open Document Spreadsheet)
  • .xlsm (Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook)

How to Import Excel Into Google Sheets

Importing Excel to Google Sheets is a common practice. Thanks to built-in importing tools compatible with various spreadsheet formats.

There are 2 easiest ways to convert Excel to Google Sheets.

  • Import the Excel data to Google Sheets
  • Uploading Excel file to Google Drive

Let’s discuss each one of them in detail.

METHOD #1 – Import the Excel data to Google Sheets

The Import tool is one of the most preferred methods to import Excel files to a Google spreadsheet.

The steps are pretty straightforward and allow users to import files in a matter of seconds.

Let’s begin,

  • Open a new spreadsheet by clicking here
  • Hover to the main menu and click on the “File” tab
  • Select the “Import” option from the popup
  • A new dialogue box will appear from where you will have to choose the Excel file
  • Next, go to the “Upload” tab as shown in the following image
  • Click the “Browse” button to locate the file on your local drive, or simply drag and drop the Excel file
  • Once the File is uploaded, a new dialog box will appear, as shown below,
  • Click the dropdown below the “Import Location” option
  • Choose “Insert New Sheet(s)

    (Note that here, you can either create an entirely new Google spreadsheet, insert a separate sheet in the existing spreadsheet, or completely replace the current Google spreadsheet with the data from the Excel file)
  • As we are importing a .xlsx file, let us keep the selection as “Detect automatically” for the second dropdown
  • Finally, press the “Import data” button

That’s it!

Google Sheets will instantly import all the data from the source Excel file. The final time depends upon the size of the dataset.

Make sure to select the correct option from the Separator type dropdown in case of .csv and .tab file formats.

METHOD #2 – Uploading Excel file to Google Drive

We imported Microsoft Excel directly into Google Sheets using the previous method.

But for this method,

I am guessing you already know all the Google files are stored on Google Drive.

So, here is the news for you!

All Excel files uploaded to Google Drive are automatically converted to Google Sheets. You can easily open, view, edit, and organize data from those uploaded Excel files right into the Google Sheets.

Here are the steps to upload Microsoft Excel files to Google Drive,

  • Open the Google Drive homepage by clicking here
  • On the left top of the page, click on “New
  • Select the “File Upload” option from the popup
  • A new dialogue box will appear on the screen, asking you to locate the file on the local drive
  • Next, once you select the file, click the “Open” button
  • Once the uploading is completed, you will see a pop-up at the bottom of the page saying your File has been uploaded, as shown below

To edit the uploaded file, click on the name once it is uploaded. 

How do I Enable Excel Files to Google Sheets’ automatic conversion in Google Drive?

The above method of automatically converting Microsoft Excel to Google Sheets will work only if you enable automatic conversion in Google Drive.

Or else, you had to upload the Excel file, then open it and save it as Google Sheets.

Here are the steps to enable the automatic conversion:

  • Open the Google Drive homepage by clicking here
  • Hover to the upper-rightmost corner and click on the “Gear” icon
  • Select the “Settings” option from the popup
  • A new set of options will be displayed on your screen
  • Make sure you are in the “General” settings
  • Scroll down and tick the box beside the “Convert Uploads to Google Docs editor format” option

Doing this will automatically convert your uploaded Excel file into Google Spreadsheet.

This automatic conversion will break the complex Excel features and functions. So, it is recommended that you review and make the required changes.

How do I Save Google Sheets files as Microsoft Excel after uploading them to Google Drive?

As mentioned earlier, if you haven’t enabled automatic conversion, you must manually save Microsoft Excel files as Google Sheets.

Here are the steps:

  • Open the uploaded file
  • You should see the file format, besides the file name, at the top of your screen. Refer to the following image
  • Next, hover to the main menu and click the “File” tab
  • Choose the “Save as Google Sheets” option from the popup

You will be redirected to a new tab on your browser where the Google spreadsheet is opened.

How to Convert a Google spreadsheet to an Excel file

There are two quickest ways to convert Excel data to Google Sheets. They get the job done in a few seconds.

But if you are wondering how to convert a Google Sheet to an Excel, then here are the steps.

  • Open the desired Google Sheet
  • Go to the main menu and click the “File” tab
  • Choose the “Download” option from the popup
  • Next, select the file format by clicking the “Microsoft Excel (.xlsv)

Your download will instantly start. The above image shows that users can download Google Sheets as Microsoft Excel in a few more file formats, such as .ods, .csv, and .tsv.

What are the benefits of importing Microsoft Excel into Google Sheets?

Google Sheets is an online spreadsheet program trending as the biggest rival of Microsoft Excel.

Here are a few of the benefits of importing Excel files into Google Sheets:

  • Real-time Collaboration: You can share Google spreadsheets with unlimited users. Everyone can view and edit the spreadsheet data in real-time. All changes can be tracked and inverted using the Version History tool prebuilt with the program.
  • Cloud-Based Storage: Google spreadsheets are accessible through desktop or mobile browsers. You can open them from anywhere and anytime as long as there is an active internet connection.
  • Integration: Users can seamlessly integrate Google Sheets with other Google Workspace apps for advanced data analysis. This integration will surely optimize data collection, analysis, and organization.
  • Affordable: All of the powerful features and functions that Google Sheets offer are free. You just need to sign up for a free Google account. Additionally, most of the Google Suite apps are free for individual use.

So, converting Excel to Google Sheets is especially helpful when your colleagues or clients want to change the sheet and share real-time updates.

Don’t get confused, as Google Sheets has not overtaken Excel yet and is not the best in all regards.

Microsoft Excel is best for holding a large volume of data. It all boils down to choosing the right tool based on your specific needs and preferences.

Read our article for more insights: Google Sheets vs. Microsoft Excel – Which Is Better [Updated 2024]

Limitations of Converting Excel Sheets to Google Sheets

As seen above, importing Excel data to Google Sheets was a piece of cake. But in some scenarios, this conversion process is not ideal.

Let’s discuss the limitations of converting an Excel file to Google Sheets:

  • Functionality Differences: Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel have different functions and features. In other words, a few complex formulas and functions may not import perfectly in some cases.
  • Formatting Issues: The data format created using the conditional formatting tool may sometimes not transfer properly. You may have to make the required changes from your end.
  • Chart Compatibility: Charts developed in Excel may not be recreated in Google Sheets.
  • Limited Data Size: Google Sheets can accommodate a maximum of 10 million cells per spreadsheet. Hence, you cannot upload Excel files with datasets larger than 10 million cells in Google Sheets.
  • VBA: Google Sheets doesn’t support Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). VBA macros won’t work in Google Sheets as it uses Google App Scripts (GAS) for scripting.

Links to other Workbooks: Google Sheets cannot access other workbooks to which the Excel has been linked. It can access only the Excel files that have been uploaded.

Things to Consider While Converting Excel Files to Google Sheets

You may encounter some issues while converting an Excel file to Google Sheets.

Let’s see some of the most common ones. 

  • File Format: Make sure the Excel file is saved in a compatible format (.xlsx) because the older format may not work.
  • Internet Connection: A stable internet connection is required for a quicker and smoother conversion of Excel files to Google Sheets; otherwise, you may face loading issues.
  • Password Protection: Make sure your Excel file is not password protected. Google Sheets cannot open or import the File if it is locked.

These are the most common things to take care of while importing an Excel to Google Sheets.

Apart from them, make sure you use an up-to-date browser to access Google Sheets.

FAQs – How to Import an Excel into Google Sheets

Q. Can I import an Excel file into Google Sheets?

Yes, you can. You just need to open a new spreadsheet and click ‘File > Import’. Choose from the files in your Google Drive or upload a new file to your Drive and click on ‘Import data’.

For the detailed steps, make sure you refer to the beginning of this article.

Q. How do I convert Excel to CSV in Google Sheets?

Google Sheets is compatible with both file formats, including .xlsx and .csv. Here are the steps to convert .xlsx to .csv using Google Sheets.

  • Open a new spreadsheet by clicking here
  • Click on the “File” tab from the main menu
  • Select the “Import” option
  • A new dialog box will appear on the screen
  • Click on the “Upload” tab
  • Next, locate your Excel file on the local drive using the “Browse” button
  • Click on the “Import data” button once the upload is complete 

After importing your Excel file, click ‘File > Download > Comma Separated Values (.csv)‘. Refer to the following image.

How To Import Excel Into Google Sheets - Quickest Methods for Beginners for Automatic Conversion

Q. How do I convert Excel macros to Google Sheets?

Google Sheets does not support Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). Instead, it uses Google App Scripts (GAS) for scripting.

There is no direct way of converting VBA to GAS. You need to create VBA codes in Google App Scripts.


That’s all about how to import Excel into Google Sheets.

It hardly takes a few minutes.

Make sure to learn the benefits and limitations of Google Sheets while importing a Microsoft Excel file. We have also discussed common issues during the process of conversion.

Please comment below if you are stuck somewhere or have any particular issue while importing Excel to Google Sheets. Our team will reply to you as soon as possible.

Check out our blog page to learn excellent tips and tricks for becoming a pro at Google Sheets.