How to Convert Excel to Google Sheets (Fast & Easy)

Excel has been the winning spreadsheet software (for decades) when it comes to storing and parsing huge sets of data.

But when it comes to collaboration and remotely working on a cloud-based file with your edits updated in real-time, Google Sheets takes over Excel.

Google Sheets is a web-based spreadsheet application hosted on the cloud. It comes as a package with the Google Workspace / G Suite. The interface of Google Sheets is somehow similar to Excel, and it allows not all but the key functions of Excel 🏃‍♀️

The core purpose of Google Sheets is to facilitate collaboration, you can share a Google sheet with hundreds of users by sharing the link to it. All of them can access it on their devices as the file is hosted in a cloud environment. All these users can edit this file together in real time.

Yes, you heard that right 👂

Now, if you want to convert your Excel sheets to Google Sheets, is it possible? How do you do it?

Grab this free practice workbook for this guide that we will convert to Google Sheets using multiple methods. Read this tutorial and practice with us all the way along.

Table of Contents

Google Sheets compared to Microsoft Excel

Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel are both top-notch spreadsheet tools. But they both have a different core purpose and hence have different specialties 😲

Excel offers mind-blowing number-crunching solutions, whereas Google Sheets has limited features but excellent collaborative features. Here are some noticeable differences between both that you must keep in mind while moving between these two spreadsheet applications:

Functionality and Features

Excel offers a more extensive range of advanced data analysis tools (Power Query, Power Pivot, etc.) While Google Sheets supports many basic functions and formulas, you cannot expect it to run every advanced function and feature with the same power as Excel does.

It offers limited functionality as compared to Excel ✋

Performance and Scalability

Excel is better optimized for handling very large datasets. It can support up to 1,048,576 rows and 16,384 columns per sheet.

Google Sheets, on the contrary, might struggle with performance issues when dealing with large amounts of data. It typically runs slow with datasets exceeding tens of thousands of rows.

Speed and Responsiveness

Excel generally performs faster and is more responsive when working with complex formulas, large datasets, or detailed formatting.

Google Sheets offers limited formatting options and may experience lag and reduced performance in similar scenarios due to its web-based nature and reliance on internet connectivity 🚀

Macros and VBA

Excel supports powerful automation capabilities through its Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) environment, which allows users to create complex macros and automate repetitive tasks.

Google Sheets uses Google Apps Script for automation, which, while powerful, is less mature and feature-rich compared to VBA 👩‍💻

Google Sheets excels in collaboration and accessibility, but its limitations in functionality, performance, and customization make it less suitable for data-intensive tasks that are complex.

Upload the Excel file to Google Drive and save it as Google Sheets

This is the first method to convert your Excel files to Google Sheets.

Let’s go.

Step 1) Launch your Google Drive.

Step 2) On the top-left corner, look out for the New button.

New button

Step 3) Click on it, and from the cascading options, select File Upload.

Upload new file

Step 4) Browse the Excel file that you want to convert to Google Sheets from your PC.

Browsing file on PC

The Excel file (in .xlsx) format will be uploaded to your drive 💻

File uploaded to Google Drive

Step 5) Double-click this file to launch it.

Google Drive will initially launch it in the Google Sheets interface (however, it is still a .xlsx file).

File launched in Google Sheet interface

Step 6) Go to the File tab on the top left corner.

Step 7) Select the option to save as Google Sheets.

Save as Google Sheets

You’ll see a new tab will automatically launch with the same file open in Google Sheets.

The interface won’t change but this time the Excel file is converted to Google Sheets.

File converted to Google Sheets

Look out for the name of the file. It is no longer suffixed by the.xlsx extension. This shows the file is no longer an Excel file. It is converted to Google Sheets.

Kasper Langmann, co-founder of Spreadsheeto

Tweak Google Drive settings to convert all uploaded Excel files to Google Sheets

The second method to convert Excel files to Google Sheets is basically about making some changes to the settings 📽

Step 1) Launch your Google Drive.

Step 2) On the right top, look out for the Settings icon.

Step 3) Click on it and go to Settings.

Google Drive settings

Step 4) Scroll down to find the Upload settings.

Step 5) Check the box for “Convert uploads to Google Doc format”.

Convert uploads to Google doc

Checking this option ensures that any file uploaded to your drive is automatically saved as a Google doc (be it a Word document, Excel sheet, or any else).

Kasper Langmann, co-founder of Spreadsheeto

Once you have applied this setting, any Excel file that you upload to the Drive will automatically be converted to Google Sheets.

File uploaded to Google Sheets format

Check out for the missing .xlsx extension next to the uploaded file’s name. It is automatically converted to Google Sheets ☁

Import Excel file into Google Sheets

The third and last method how you can convert Excel files to Google Sheets is to directly import them to Google Sheets.

Here’s how:

Step 1) Launch Google Sheets on your PC.

Step 2) Open a Blank sheet.

Blank sheet in Excel

Step 3) Go to the File tab > Import.

Import file to Google Sheets

Step 4) From the Import window, go to the Upload tab.

Upload Excel document

Step 5) Browse the relevant file from your computer.

Browse the Excel spreadsheet on your PC

Step 6) Once it is browsed, Google Sheets will present you with some options on how you want the spreadsheet uploaded.

  • Create a New Spreadsheet: Launch a new Google sheet to import the selected Excel file.
  • Insert New sheet (s): You can upload it by inserting a new sheet into the launched Google sheet.
  • Replace Spreadsheet: You can upload it and replace the active Google Sheet launched.

Step 7) Select any option that suits you and hit the Upload button.

Import data to Google Sheets

The Excel data will be imported to Google Sheets and the formatting will be preserved (to the extent it is supported by Google Sheets) 🔍

Excel file imported to Google Sheets

You can then rename it to save it with whatever name you like on your Google Drive.

Convert Google Sheets File to Excel

Lastly, after we have seen multiple methods to convert Excel files to Google Sheets, this one method sees the situation opposite 💡

To convert a Google sheet into an Excel file.

Step 1) Launch that Google sheet.

Step 2) Go to the File tab > Download > Microsoft Excel (.xlsx).

Download in .xlsx file format

The Google sheet will be downloaded on your PC as an Excel file (in .xlsx format).

Google Sheets downloaded as in Excel format

This one was simple enough, right?


This tutorial shows 3 easy and fast methods to convert your Excel files to Google Sheets (in minutes if not seconds) ⌚

If this is something you do regularly, we have also explored an option to automate this conversion. Also, if you have a spreadsheet ready in Google Sheets, we saw how you can fetch it as an Excel file.

Hope you enjoyed reading this blog. If you’re interested in learning more about data exports within and outside Excel, check out these Microsoft Excel tutorials by Spreadsheeto.