Whether you are working with a team or cloud storage is your jam, Google Drive is a fantastic service many people use daily. 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
  • .xlt
  • .csv
  • .ods
  • .xlsx
  • .tab
  • .xlsm
  • .tsv

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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