Import Excel to Google Sheets [Easy Step-by-Step Guide]

There are plenty of reasons to open an Excel spreadsheet in Google Sheets. Perhaps you want to access the data but don’t have Microsoft Excel installed. Maybe you simply prefer Google Sheets as a spreadsheet platform. Either way, you can import Excel to Google Sheets without an issue.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through different ways to import an Excel file into Google Sheets and how you can do it automatically moving forward.

Different Methods to Import Excel to Google Sheets

There are two straightforward methods for opening Excel files in Google Sheets: using Google Sheets to convert the file or going through Google Drive instead. Whichever you decide, we’ve provided both methods.

Importing Excel Into Google Sheets From Spreadsheet Options

Google Sheets comes with the ability to natively convert Microsoft Excel spreadsheet files to a file format that’s compatible with Google Docs. Doing so couldn’t be easier;

  1. Log into your Google account in your preferred web browser. Head to the Google Sheets homepage.
    Google Sheets homepage
  2. Open a blank Google Sheet.
    Blank Google Sheet screenshot
  1. Select “File” > “Import.” You can use this option to import CSV files to Google Sheets (and it works just as well for .xlsx spreadsheets).
    Import .CSV files to Google Sheets
  1. A pop-up will appear and you’ll choose the Excel file to convert. Select a file from your Google Drive or upload it. If you choose the latter, drag and drop the file or click the BROWSE button (which will open a window where you can search for the file from your computer).
    Import file from computer to Google Sheets
  1. Once you’ve selected a file to upload, you’ll see another pop-up where you can finalize specific import options. This includes import location, separator type, and whether or not to convert text to numbers, dates, and formulas. When you’re ready, click the “Import data” button to finalize the process.

 

Click import data for Excel sheet

Converting Excel From Google Drive

The second way to open Excel in Google Sheets is by first uploading the file to Google Drive and then converting it. To do so, simply follow these steps:

  1. Open Google Drive in your web browser and sign in to your Google account.
  2. Click the “New” button in the top-left corner of the page and select “File upload.”

 

Where to find file upload in Google Drive

 

  1. In the pop-up, you can go through your computer files and choose the Excel sheet you want to upload. Once you highlight your file and click the “Open” button, it should appear in your Google Drive within a few seconds (depending on the size).

 

Select a file from desktop to Google Sheets

 

  1. Navigate to this file in Google Drive and open it. The file should be editable in Google Sheets, but it’s still a .xlsx file (which is the proprietary file type of Microsoft Excel). If you’re looking to convert it, proceed to step 5.
  2. Click “File” > “Save as Google Sheets.” The Microsoft Excel spreadsheet should now be converted into a format supported by Google Sheets.
    Import Excel to Google Sheets - Click file, then save as Google Sheets

    Note: If you’re looking to convert Google Sheets to Excel format, you can click “File” > “Download.” From there, you can choose which file type the downloaded spreadsheet will have, including Microsoft Excel-supported file extensions.

Automatically Convert Excel To Google Sheets When Uploading

If you’re tired of having to open Excel in Google Sheets and manually convert spreadsheets, Google Drive includes an option to automatically convert files into a supported format whenever possible. Fortunately, .xlsx to Google Sheets is one of the conversions it supports.

Follow the steps below to have this option automatically toggled for future projects:

  1. Open Google Drive in your web browser and sign in to your Google account.
  2. Click the gear icon in the top-right corner and select Settings.

 

Where is settings in Google Drive

 

  1. Select “General” from the left-side panel and tick the “Convert uploads to Google Docs editor format” checkbox. You can find this under the Convert Uploads header.
Convert uploads to Google Docs editor format

 

Now, whenever you upload a .xlsx file to your Google Drive, it’ll automatically convert it to Google Sheets formatting. This eliminates the need for manually uploading Excel to Google Sheets for conversion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does XLSX Work in Google Sheets?

The proprietary file format for Microsoft Excel spreadsheets is .xlsx, but you can open Excel in Google Sheets. These types of files can be opened from within Google Sheets natively and you’ll be able to edit all the information stored in the sheet without issues. That said, there may be some compatibility problems with other Google products.

Can Google Sheets Pull Data from Excel Automatically?

Having to convert each Excel file to Google Sheets format can be quite a hassle, especially if you’re working with lots of Excel spreadsheets. On the plus side, Google Drive has a cool feature that automatically converts any uploaded files to a Google Doc-supported format. This works for .xlsx as well, so all you need to do is upload the Excel sheet and it’ll be changed into Google Sheets format.

Conclusion

Microsoft Excel is an excellent spreadsheet program that’s been the standard for decades. But a greater number of people are migrating to Google Sheets, whether to save some money or collaborate with others.

Whatever the reason, there’s bound to be a time when you’ll have to import Excel to Google Sheets. Luckily, it’s simple and requires a handful of methods outlined above. You can also customize your Google Drive settings to automatically convert Excel files to the Google Sheets format — whenever they’re uploaded.

Want to discover more advanced spreadsheet knowledge? Check out these awesome Udemy courses for G Suite today!

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Emma Collins

Emma Collins

Emma Collins is a tech writer for Spreadsheet Point. She's been writing tech tutorials & how-to guides on Windows, Android, iOS, Social Media, Data Recovery, Cybersecurity, Gaming, and more as a tech writer for over 6 years. You can find her work on many established tech websites, including Productivity Spot, Hackr.io, MakeUseOf, Help Desk Geek, Online Tech Tips, HandyRecovery, Cleverfiles, and more.
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