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Key Facts

  • The first step you would need to take is to check the file format.
  • If it is suitable, you will need to upload the file to Google Sheets.
  • Last of all, you will need to save it as Google Sheets.

Whether you are working with a team or cloud storage is your jam, Google Drive is a fantastic service many people use daily.

Its autosave feature which comes with its office applications is just one perk which sets it apart from Microsoft Office, and other similar applications such as WPS. There is also the fact that they make collaborative projects extremely easy as well.

Its cloud storage is also especially convenient since it frees up space on your laptop, desktop, or portable devices for other files.

Luckily, if you only use Google Drive instead of Microsoft Office, you can quickly transfer Excel spreadsheets to Google Sheets in 5 easy steps.

In this article, we walk through the process of saving an Excel spreadsheet as a Google Sheet and some things to look out for if you run into problems.

1. Check the Format

While this isn’t an essential step for most people, we find that it can save a lot of headaches later on.

There are only 8 spreadsheet formats that are compatible with Google Sheets. While most people use .xls or .xlsx, we recommend checking the format before continuing with the rest of the steps.

Check that your format is compatible first.

Below is a list of the compatible formats for Google Sheets:

  • .xls: The binary file format for Excel 97 – Excel 2003.
  • .xlt: The binary file format for Excel 97 – Excel 2003 for an Excel template.
  • .csv: Workbook will be saved as a comma-delimited text file to be used on another Windows /Macintosh/MS-DOS operating system with line breaks, tab characters, etc., interpreted appropriately.
  • .ods: Applications that use the OpenDocument Spreadsheet format such as Google Docs will be able to open saved Excel 2010 files.
  • .xlsx: Excel 2007 and 2010’s default XML-based file format.
  • .tab: Text delimited – Workbook gets saved as a tab-delimited text file which can be used on another Microsoft Windows operating system, with line breaks, tab characters, etc., interpreted appropriately.
  • .xlsm: Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016s’ XML-based and macro-enabled file format.
  • .tsv: Tab Separated Values files. They store information in data tables, with tabs separating each column.

2. File Upload

Click on File upload from the New button.

To import a spreadsheet, click on the New button in the top left corner of your google drive, and then select File upload.

3. Select the Spreadsheet You Would Like to Upload

Select the file you want to be uploaded.

4. Open the Spreadsheet in Google Drive

To open up your file, double-click on it.

After you have the file uploaded to Google Drive, it will appear in your drive as a .xls file or whatever file format the spreadsheet was original. To open it, double-click on it.

5. Save as Google Sheets

Click on File then click on Save as Google Sheets.

Now that you have the spreadsheet open in Google Drive, select File and then select Save as Google Sheets. After you choose that, a Sheets version of the file will open in a new tab.

Note that this process does not replace the original file, so you will have both a .xls and Sheets version of the spreadsheet in your drive now.


You have transferred an Excel spreadsheet to Google Sheets. However, we would like to note that if you want to use Google Sheets and don’t want to convert all your files to Sheets files, you can work off of .xls or any of the 8 file types we talked about in Google Sheets, and you will have full functionality of the spreadsheet.

How to Convert Excel to Google Sheets in 5 Easy Steps FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Can you replace Excel with Google Sheets?

Yes, Google Sheets can easily replace Excel. We also recommend using the whole Google Drive to replace Microsoft Office.

What is the format of Google Sheets?

If you are looking to export a file out of Sheets, you can export in all 8 file types that you can import into. The most common type you will probably use is .xls.

What is Google Sheets in simple words?

Google Sheets is a web-based application that lets users create, update and modify spreadsheets and share the data online in real-time.

What is a column in Google Sheets?

Sheets are formatted almost exactly the same as Excel. Columns are the vertical cells in a spreadsheet. Vertical cells are named with letters, A-Z rows are horizontal cells, and they are named with numbers.

Do formulas work in Google Sheets?

If you are used to Excel formulas, Google Sheets uses most of the same formulas for the basic stuff. The more complex formulas differ a little bit, but not much.

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