How to Convert Excel to Google Sheets (Step-by-Step)

Looking to switch from Excel to Sheets? Explore various ways to transfer Excel files to Google Sheets...

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Shivam Kumar
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Microsoft Excel has been the leading spreadsheet program for more than 3 decades. But over time, Google’s free Excel counterpart, Google Sheets, has become a very popular and viable alternative to the expensive Excel.

Not only is it is free, but you can also collaborate on a spreadsheet with your colleagues as well as access the files from anywhere — all you need is an internet connection.

So, if you are looking to switch to Google Sheets from Excel and want to transfer some of your Excel spreadsheets to Google Sheets — It is quite easy.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to convert Excel to Google Sheets through various methods (depending on your situation)

Let’s get into it…

01. How to convert Excel to Google Sheets by importing a file

This method is handy for importing an excel document to an existing Google Sheets document.

Here is how it works:

  1. First of all, open a blank spreadsheet or an existing Google Sheets document in which you want to add the Excel content.
Open a google sheets
  1. Click on File option to open the dropdown menu.
click on file in google sheets
  1. From the list of options, click on the Import option.
Import excel files
  1. In the Import File dialog window, navigate to the Upload tab.
Import excel file to Google Sheets
  1. Here you can either directly drag and drop your excel file (.xls or .xlsx) or click on the Select a file from your device button.
Upload excel to Goolgle Sheets
  1. This will open up the file selector window. Now you’ll need to select the desired excel file and then click on Open button appearing at the bottom right corner.
Open excel sheets file in Google Sheets
  1. Once the uploading is completed, you’ll see a dialog box as shown in the screenshot below.  Here, you’ll have to choose how you want your Excel file to be imported.
Import excel to Google Sheets
  1. Click on the import location drop down menu and choose one of the options. you can import the file to a new spreadsheet, import the file to a new sheet in the current document, or replace the current Google sheets with the imported file. Once you’ve selected an appropriate option, then, click on the Import data button.
  1. That’s it…. For this example, I selected “insert new sheet(s)” and my excel sheet got added as a new sheets in my existing worksheet.
Excel to Google sheets

02. How to Transfer Excel to Google Sheets Through Google Drive

Another method for converting Excel files to Google Sheets is by uploading Excel files to Google Drive and then saving it in Google Sheets file format.

Here is how it works:

  1. First of all, open Google Drive in your browser and then click on the New button.
add New Google drive
  1. Select File Upload from the drop down menu.
upload file to Google Drive
  1. Find and select the Excel Sheets file from your computer and then click Open
Open excel sheets file in Google Sheets
  1. Once the file has been uploaded, right click on the file, move your cursor over Open with option in the popup menu and select Google Sheets
Open excel file into Google Sheets
  1. This will open your excel file in the Google Sheets as an editable document. Your spreadsheet file will be still in excel file format, as you can see a ‘.xlsx’ badge at the end of the file name at top.
Excel sheet in Google Sheet

This means if you make any changes to this document it will be saved to the original Excel File stored on your Google Drive.

  1. But if you want to convert Excel file to Google Sheets, click File from the menu and then select Save as Google Sheets.
Save excel file into Google Sheets File

Now your Excel file will be converted into a new Google Sheets and any changes made to this sheet will not affect the original Excel file.

Convert excel sheets into Google Sheets

You can distinguish both files in your Google Drive by looking at the icon appearing before the file’s name. Excel files will have a cross (X) icon and Google Sheets will have plus (+) icon before their filename.

Google sheets file and excel sheets file in Google Drive

03. How to Automatically Convert Excel to Google Sheets on Upload

The above method is quite handy if you have only a few files to convert. But, what if you have hundreds of Excel files to convert into Google Sheets files? Doing it one at a time can be tedious.

This is where you can change your Google Drive preference to automatically convert any future upload of Excel files into Google Sheets format. Here is how:

  1. Open your Google Drive.
Google Drive
  1. Click on the gear icon appearing at the top right corner and select settings
Google Drive settings
  1. In the Setting dialog box, tick the check box next to the Convert upload option and finally click Done.
Convert excel to Google Sheets automatically

Now, every time you upload an Excel file to Google Drive, those files will be converted automatically to Google Sheets format.

04. How to Convert Excel (xlsx) File to Google Sheets using a script

Suppose you have hundreds of excel (.xlsx) files in your Google Drive folder named ‘Folder A’

Excels files in Google Drive

Now you want to convert all the file into Google spreadsheet format at once and keep them in ‘Folder B’

Google drive blank folder

Here’s how you can do this using a simple script:

  1. Get the folder ID of where your excel files are stored. It is quite easy — just open the folder (in our case folder A) and copy the last part of URL. You can paste it into a notepad for a while for easy access.
Copy folder ID of Folder A in Google Drive
  1. Now get the folder ID of where you want to store your converted files. Just open the folder (in our case folder B) and copy the last part of URL. Again, paste it into the same notepad for a while for easy access.
Google drive folder B
  1. Create a new blank Google Sheets document.
Create blank spreadsheet
  1. Now go to Extension >> App Script from the top menu.
Launch app script in Google Sheets
  1. This will take you to the Google App Script editor. First of all, delete any code that might be appearing in the editor.
Google app script editors
  1. Now, copy and paste the following code into the app script editor. Make sure to replace the sourceFolderId and destinationFolderId with the IDs you copied in Step 1 and 2, respectively.
function myFunction() {
  // ID of Folder A. Change it with yours.
  var sourceFolderId = "1m3VXfogZQ3pvJH_fxnemSRqLzgGkDPpT"; 
  // ID of Folder B. Change it with yours.
  var destinationFolderId = "1kGpai3yebUT5iofWhoyo0mKI6c3FzuLg"; 
  // Get Excel files
  var files = DriveApp.getFolderById(sourceFolderId).getFilesByType(MimeType.MICROSOFT_EXCEL);
    var file =;
    var name = file.getName().split('.')[0]; 
    var id = file.getId();
    var blob = file.getBlob();
    var newFile = {
        title : name + '_converted',
        parents: [{id: destinationFolderId}] 
    var sheetFile = Drive.Files.insert(newFile, blob, { convert: true });
  1. Once you have pasted the code, click the plus icon appearing next to services in the left menu.
Add service in app script
  1. Next, select Drive API from the list of API options and then click on Add button appearing at the bottom.
Add drive api in APP SCRIPT
  1. Finally, Click the Run button, and authorize the script to access your account if requested (usually asked when you’re using app script for the first time).
run function in app script
  1. If everything goes well, you’ll get “Execution completed” notice in the execution log section.
Execution completed in app script

Now check your destination folder (in our case Folder B) and you’ll find all your excel files converted into Google Sheets file format.

Excel files converted to Google Sheets format

05. How to Convert Google Sheets to Excel?

There can be times when you want to convert a Google Sheets into an Excel file format. For example; it can be possible that some of your colleagues might be working on Excel, so you can’t send them spreadsheets in Google Sheets format.

Fortunately, it is quite easy to convert a Google spreadsheet format back to Excel format.

Here is how:

First, open the Google spreadsheet that you want to convert into Excel. Go to the File menu, click Download and select Microsoft Excel (.xls)

Convert Google Sheets back to Excel

As another option, if you want to directly convert a file from Google Drive, right-click on the file and select Download

Download Google Sheets file as Excel file format

It will be automatically converted to Excel spreadsheet format.

Best way to Convert Excel to Google Sheets:

In this tutorial, we have discussed four different methods to transfer Excel files to Google Sheets. Now, you may be wondering which method is best?

Well, it all depends on your current situation. If you have just one excel file to convert into Google Sheets, using the import feature of Google Sheets might be a convenient option.

On the other hand, if you have hundreds of files to convert into Google Sheets, changing your drive preference before uploading or running the app script function might be a better option.

Are you still confused between Excel and Google Sheets? Check out our Excel vs Google Sheets comparison guide.

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