How to Share an Excel File Step-by-Step (2024)

Gone are the days when you’d email an Excel file to your team members, and wait for it to be edited by them. And when received back, merge the changes to the original file manually 😫

Even sounds so tiring. With newer versions of Microsoft Excel (starting from Excel 2010 and onwards), you can share an Excel file with your team members and work on it simultaneously.

No, not kidding – you can do that. How? The guide below will teach you to do that 👇

So let’s jump right in.

Share an Excel file via OneDrive

To share an Excel workbook via OneDrive, you only need to save it to your OneDrive. And then allow access to the same to your colleagues.

Once this is done, you and your team members (with whom the file has been shared) can simultaneously edit it, and you can track the changes in real time 💪

There are two ways how you can share files via OneDrive:

  1. By logging on to OneDrive, signing in to your account, and uploading the files there.
Logging into OneDrive
  1. By downloading the OneDrive app from here.
Downloading the OneDrive App

After you have downloaded it, sign in with your Microsoft Account details. If you don’t have one already, take out 5 minutes to create one 💭

Once you’ve set up everything, you’re OneDrive Folder will appear under your Files and Folders like this.

The OneDrive App

Now let’s see how you can save a file to OneDrive to share it.

  1. Look out for the Share button on the top right corner of your Excel workbook (that is to be shared).
The share button
  1. Click on it.

You’d see the Share dialog box as follows. If you’ve already set up your account, it’d appear here.

Share to OneDrive
  1. Select the account where you want the workbook uploaded.

You’d then see the dialog box to Send the link as follows:

Send link
  1. Type in the email addresses of the recipients with whom you want to share the file.

To share the file with multiple people at the same time, add the name of one recipient, then add a semicolon before you write in the name of the second recipient ✍

Kasper Langmann, Microsoft Office Specialist
  1. Click on the Send button.

With this, the file will be shared. And the recipients will now be able to access the shared workbooks from the link sent to them (via email)📨

Here’s another easy way to share an Excel file via OneDrive:

  1. Launch the OneDrive Folder on your Desktop.
  2. Drag and drop your Excel file into this folder.
Dragging and dropping the Excel file

Once you have dropped the file in the OneDrive folder, you’d see this blue icon status at first 🔁

The blue icon

This tells us that the file is still in the process of being uploaded. Once it turns green (like the image below), the file is now uploaded to your OneDrive account ✅

The green icon

Files uploaded to OneDrive are saved on the cloud. You can access them from any Excel app on another device (like Excel mobile, or another Excel desktop app). OneDrive offers each user a storage space of up to 5 GB.

Kasper Langmann, Microsoft Office Specialist

With this, you are ready to share the file with anyone you like.

  1. Right-click on the file from your OneDrive folder to launch the context menu.
  2. Click on Share.
Share Excel workbook

You’ll be navigated to the following window where you can type the addresses of the recipients. And the subject Excel workbook will be shared with them 👀

Send link

Excel co-authoring

Excel co-authoring is just like sharing a file via OneDrive. However, this feature of Excel and OneDrive takes sharing a level ahead.

Pro Tip!

Co-authoring is where multiple users can co-author (edit) the shared Excel file simultaneously.

No more mess of creating and saving multiple versions for the same file 😍

To co-author an Excel workbook:

  1. Look out for the Share button on the top right corner of your Excel workbook.
The share button
  1. Click on it.
  2. From the Share dialog box, click on the pencil icon on the right ✏
  3. Set the Access options to ‘Can Edit’.
Setting the file format to editing
  1. Type in the email addresses of the recipients with whom you want to share the file.

Like we have added a recipient here.

Adding recipients for editing
  1. Click on share.

The recipient will receive an email with the link to access the file.

  1. Again navigate to the top right of your workbook to see more profiles there. This shows who is currently co-authoring your Excel workbook 🚀
Profiles for co-authoring

Not just that – you can also track changes being made by them to the same spreadsheet in real-time. In short, it works just like Google Sheets does.

Co authoring feature of a Excel shared workbook

Isn’t this just so cool 😎

Unshare an Excel file

After you’ve granted access to your team members to an Excel file, you can always withdraw the access.

To unshare Excel files, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the OneDrive folder on your PC. Or log on to OneDrive from your browser.
  2. Right-click on the Excel shared workbook that is to be unshared.
  3. From the context menu that launches, select “Manage Access”.
Manage Access
  1. From the Manage Access dialog box, click on Stop Sharing ❌
Stop Sharing button

Doing so, the file will be unshared. This means no other users (with whom the files were shared) will be able to access the file.

If you want to remove the sharing link only:

  1. From the Manager Access dialog box, click on the cross button next to the sharing link.
Remove sharing link

Anyone who has this link can access and edit the subject workbook. However, once you remove this link, other members cannot access the subject Excel file through this link 🎯

  1. Alternatively, if you only want to remove the file access from certain members, scroll down to see the list of people who have access to the subject file.
 People who have access to the file
  1. Click on the cross sign to the right of the member’s name to remove his access.

If you don’t want to take away the access but only change the access settings:

  1. Under the Link Settings, click on the drop-down menu icon next to the access type.
  2. Change the access type by clicking on it.
 Changing the access type

If you don’t want to unshare it altogether, just change the access type from ‘Can Edit’ to ‘Can view’ 🙈

The members with whom the file was shared will now only be able to view the file. But won’t be able to make any changes to it. That’s how you can take away the co-authoring rights from any member.

Pro Tip!

If you want to change the access type for any specific member only (and not all members):

  1. Launch the Manage Access dialog box.
  2. Go to the list of persons who have access to the file.
  3. Click on the ellipsis button next to each person’s name.
  4. Change the access permission for that person.

That’s it – Now what?

Up till here, we have seen how you can share an Excel workbook using OneDrive. Not only can you conveniently share it with your team members, but you can also allow them to co-author it.

If you get to work with a team – this guide would be a blessing for you. But let me tell you, this is only about sharing Excel workbooks 😲

What about making them? To grasp the science of using Excel, you must learn Excel functions. There are just so many of them.

Some of my favorite functions from the Excel library include the VLOOKUP, SUMIF, and IF functions.

To begin learning them, hop on here to register for my 30-minute free email course that will take you through these (and many more) Excel functions.

Other resources

That’s about sharing Excel workbooks with your colleagues via OneDrive. But what if you need to send it to someone, and it’s a little too large to be shared?

Learn ways to squeeze Excel workbooks in size by reading our blog here.