How to Convert Google Sheets to Excel in 2022 [Easy Guide]

There are several spreadsheet programs you can choose from these days, yet most people use Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Those who feel more comfortable using Excel swear by it, while those who love Sheets prefer its features and menus. So, what can you do to bridge the gap between the two programs?

This article will go into depth on:

  • How to convert Google Sheets to Excel
  • How to open the file in Excel

We will also examine whether the functions from one spreadsheet software work in the other. Read on to master this important part of collaborating on spreadsheet programs.

Why Sync Google Sheets to Excel?

If you’re working in a large organization, there are several reasons why you would want to convert Google Sheets to Excel and vice versa.

Here are a few of the most common reasons to save a Google Sheet to an Excel file:

  • People in your team prefer one spreadsheet software over the other.
  • Team members do not wish to be a part of the Google ecosystem.
  • Policies dictate that you have to send in work as an attachment rather than a link.
  • One software doesn’t have the functions that your company needs.
  • Sheets lose their performance when working with larger spreadsheets which is why the company needs the responsiveness of Excel.
  • Sometimes it’s easier to import a .csv file into Google Sheets, then copy the .xlsx file to Excel to work with it.

How to Convert a Google Sheet to Excel

Thankfully, Google Sheets lets you download your spreadsheets in a .xlsx file. Microsoft Excel supports this file type. So you’ll never have to make a definitive decision about which spreadsheet program is better.

Here are the steps you need to follow to convert Google Sheets to Excel:

how to convert google sheets to excel

  1. Open the spreadsheet you wish to download to your computer.
  2. Click on File in the top bar. This will open a dropdown menu containing a list of options.
  3. Here, click on Download. This will open another sub-menu allowing you to choose the file format. We aim to download the file in a .xlsx format.
  4. In the menu, click on Microsoft Excel (.xlsx)

This will download the file to your computer. You can usually find the file in the download folder of your web browser.

How to Save Google Sheets as Excel Using Google Drive

If you’re working on Google Sheets, your data is automatically backed up to Google Drive. If you don’t have access to Sheets, you can also download the file from there.

Here are the steps you need to follow to export Google Sheets to Excel:

Download google sheet

  1. Open Google Drive in your browser.
  2. Click on My Drive and scroll down to find the name of the Google Sheets file. Alternatively, you can also search for the name in the search bar at the top of the screen.
  3. Right-click on the file, which will show a pop-up menu. Click on Download, and the file will download onto your computer locally.

If you follow the above to learn how to download Google Sheets into Excel, then you just click to open the downloaded file in your Windows or macOS file browser.

Do the Functions From Sheets Work in Excel?

Although the functionality of both Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets is similar, there are many incompatible functions in either software, which means importing the spreadsheet file into either software is bound to break some functionality.

Here are some of the formulas that are incompatible between Excel and Google Sheets:

If your spreadsheet uses any of these functions, you should look to remove the formula or replace it with one which is compatible with Excel.

How to Open a Google Sheets File in Excel

There are multiple versions of Microsoft Office that you can use. These include Office 2019, 2016, 2013, and 2010.

The latest release is Office 365, which works on a subscription-based model. Office 365 works online, whereas older versions of Office work on your computer locally. We will be working on Office 365 for this example.

But if you’re using older versions, right-click on the file, which will open a menu. Here, click on Open with and then choose Microsoft Excel. This will open Excel on your computer. There you will be able to access the file normally.

To open the downloaded Google Sheets file in Excel for Office 365, follow these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Excel on your browser. If you have Excel downloaded on your computer, open it there.
  2. On the main screen, click on Upload. This will open the local file browser of your operating system. There, navigate to the locally stored file.
  3. Select your file and click on Open. This will open a small window in the middle of the screen where you can see the file upload progress.

Once done, Excel will open your file, and you can make changes to the file like you normally would.

How to Save Excel as Google Sheets

Downloading your spreadsheet from Excel follows a similar format as it would if you were to download it on Google Sheets. When using Microsoft Office 2019, 2016, 2013, and 2010, the files will be saved locally to your PC. However, on Office 365, the file is synced to Onedrive, so you will have to download it locally.

Here are the steps you need to follow to do this:

  1. In your Excel spreadsheet, click on File. This will open the main sidebar menu.

  1. Click on Save As in the main options. This will open a sub-menu.
  2. There, click on Download a Copy.

This will download the .xlsx file to your computer. This file can be found in the Downloads folder of your browser.

How to Open an Excel File in Google Sheets

Here are the steps you need to follow to open an Excel file in Google Sheets:

  1. Head over to Google Sheets in your browser.

  1. Click on the File icon. This will open a new window allowing you to choose the file.

  1. We wish to upload our locally stored file, which is why we will be using the Upload option.
  2. There, you can drag and drop the file, or you can click on Select a file from your device.
  3. This will open your local file browser. Head over to the file and click on Open.

This will start loading the file into Google Sheets. Once uploaded, the file will open, and you can make changes like usual.

Compatibility Issues When Using Excel Files in Sheets

Although you can load the Excel file into Google Sheets, note that Sheets lacks many of the advanced features that Excel offers, which is why you are bound to face some compatibility issues. Here are a few of them:

  • You can not import password-protected Excel files into Google Sheets.
  • Google Sheets will ignore any links to other spreadsheets in the file.
  • Google Sheets does not support power query, PowerPivot, and other data modeling features of Excel.
  • If your Excel file has VBA macros, these won’t have support in Google Sheets. Instead, you can write code in AppScript when working in Google Sheets.

If your Excel file uses any of these functions, find an alternative to those as they won’t work in Google Sheets. If you upload the file into Sheets, they might be deleted or lose functionality.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Open Google Sheets in Excel?

Here’s how to transfer Google Sheets to Excel:

  1. Open Microsoft Excel on your computer.
  2. On the main screen, click on Upload. This will open the local file browser of your operating system.
  3. Navigate to the locally stored file.
  4. Select your file and click on Open. This will open a small window in the middle of the screen where you can see the file upload progress. Once the upload is complete, the file will be loaded in Excel.

How Do I Change a Google Sheet to .xlsx?

  1. Open the spreadsheet you wish to download to your computer.
  2. Click on File in the top bar. This will open a dropdown menu containing a list of options.
  3. Here, click on Download. This will open another sub-menu allowing you to choose the file format.
  4. In the menu, click on Microsoft Excel (.xlsx). The file will then be downloaded to your computer.

How Do I Convert Multiple Google Sheets to Excel?

After selecting the Google Sheets file, click on Add another source file. Choose additional files from My Drive. Select the source tab. The tab should have the same name as the initial source. Click on Finish and Save.

Wrapping Up

Learning to import and export a spreadsheet file into Excel and Sheets can be necessary as it allows you to easily collaborate with your team members no matter what spreadsheet software they use. We hope this article helped you better understand how to save a .xlsx file in Google Sheets and import it into Excel.

Now that you know How to Convert Google Sheets to Excel, you may want to learn more.

Check out some of these related guides to boost your spreadsheet skills:

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Jake Wright

Jake Wright

Jake is a spreadsheet expert and content writer from New Zealand. He has a double Bachelor's Degree in Teaching and has been working in the education industry for over 11 years. His experience makes him adept at breaking down complex topics so that everyone is able to understand.