How to Import Data into Google Sheets (In 5 Easy Steps)

Importing data from various data sources into Google Sheets is easier than you might think...

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Shivam Kumar
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If you’re using Google Sheets, you probably need to import data from other applications.

While you can always manually copy-paste data from anywhere, there are a few faster ways that will save you lots of time.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to import data into Google Sheets from various sources & file formats.

01. How to Import a File into Google Sheets?

Google Sheets has an in-built feature that allows you to import files stored in your Google Drive or local computer into a Google Sheets document.

You can import several different file types:

  • Microsoft Excel (.xls, .xlsx, .xlxm, .xltx, .xltm)
  • OpenOffice/LibreOffice (.ods)
  • Comma Separated Variable (.csv)
  • Tab Seperated Variable (.tsv)
  • Text files (.txt)
  • MapInfo (.tab)

Once you have your data ready in one of the supported formats, follow the steps outlined below.

  1. Create a new spreadsheet or open an existing one where you want to import data.
Google sheets document 1
  1. Open File menu and click on the Import option appearing in drop-down menu.
Import feature of Google Sheets
  1. In the dialog that appear, locate the file you want to import. If it is already in your drive, you can search for it by the file name.
Import files from Google Drive account
  1. If the file you want to import is stored on your computer, navigate to the Upload tab and follow the prompts to upload the file.
Import files from computer to Google Sheets
  1. After uploading the file, choose where you’d like to import the data. Most of the time Insert New Sheet(s) option will work well as it import your data into a new Google Sheet.
choose import location in Google Sheets
  1. Finally, click on Import option to complete the importing process.
Import files in google sheets

02. How to Import CSV or TSV Data hosted Online?

Google Sheets has a built-in function called IMPORTDATA which fetches data from a given URL in CSV (comma-separated value) or TSV (tab-separated value) format. It is commonly used when you are dealing with tabular information such as sales, population, and statistics.

For example, let’s say you want to import United States census data from their official site (

Here’s how you can import it through the IMPORTDATA function:

  1. First of all copy the URL of file you want to import in your spreadsheet.

NOTE – Make sure the file is in .csv or .tsv format because this function only supports these two file formats.

Copying link of a CSV file from US census website
  1. Now open your Google Sheets dcoument and start writing the formula with = equal sign followed by the function name which is IMPORTDATA
  1. Add an open parenthesis ( and enter the URL you copied in step 1. Do not forget to enclose the URL in a quote-unquote symbol “”

NOTE – Make sure the URL starts with a protocol (e.g. HTTP:// or HTTPS://)

enter URL as argument in IMPORTDATA function
  1. Finally, add a closing parenthesis ) and hit enter button on your keyboard.
IMPORTDATA function in GoogleSheets

That’s it… The above steps would instantly import all the census data from the given URL.

Import CSV file in Google Sheets

03. How to Import Data From Website to Google Sheets?

Let’s say you stumbled on a table on some website and want to scrape that tabular data into your spreadsheet.

Rather than copying and pasting it manually into your spreadsheet, Google Sheets has a convenient function, IMPORTHTML, to do the job.

This function lets you import tabular data from a website and refresh your data at regular intervals to keep it updated.

Syntax of IMPORTHTML function:

=IMPORTHTML(URL, query_type, index)

  • URL – The URL of the page containing data. Make sure to enclose the URL in double-quotes.
  • Query-type – Use Table if data is in tabular form, otherwise List if you’re going to import a list.
  • Index – There can be multiple tables or list on a same webpage. In such a case, we must enter the order of the table we want. A table with index = 1 means that it’s the first table, index = 2 means that it’s the second table on that webpage, and so on.

How this function works:

Let’s say we want to import a table from Wikipedia listing Country and their nominal GDP

wikipedia table containing nominal GDP of countries

Here’s how the IMPORTHTML function will make the process smooth…

  1. Open a Google Sheets document where you want to import the table.
Open Google Sheets document to enter formula
  1. Type the = (equal sign) to begin the function and then followed by the name of the function, which is IMPORTHTML
start writing =IMPORTHTML function google sheets
  1. Next, paste the link of webpage containg the data. Do not forget to enclose the URL in a quote-unquote symbol “”
Add URL of webpage in IMPORTHTML function
  1. Then enter the query value as Table since the data is structured in tabular form on the wikipedia page.
Enter query value in IMPORTHTML function
  1. Next, enter the index number as to which table should be returned. In our case it is going to be table number 3
Enter Index Value in IMPORT HTML function


If the webpage you’re importing your data from includes multiple tables, open your browser’s developer tools and run the following code in the console tab.

var i = 1; []“table”), function(x) { console.log(i++, x); });

Once you’ve entered the code and pressed enter button, you’ll see a list of numbers (in green color) that represent the index number of tables on that webpage. Move your cursor over each index number until the table you want to display is highlighted.

Find index number in web developer tool
  1. Finally, add a closing parenthesis ) to complete the formula and hit enter button on your keyboard.
IMPORTHTML formula in Google Sheets

That’s it… This will instantly fetch and display the data from the Wikipedia page.

Imported data in Google Sheets

04. How to Import Data Into Google Sheets with Add-ons?

A big advantage of using Google Sheets over other spreadsheet programs is the availability of a tremendous selection of add-ons.

These add-ons help you accomplish all sorts of things that wouldn’t otherwise be possible with Google Sheets

A couple of the most popular add-ons for importing data from external sources are Supermetrics and Apipheny.

1. SuperMetrics

supermetrics for google sheets

Supermetrics is a powerful add-on for Google Sheets that lets you easily pull in data from many different sources, with a particular focus on marketing data.

For each data source you connect to Supermetrics, you can access a comprehensive range of metrics and dimensions to bring into your spreadsheet.

You can also schedule automatic importing of new data, so your spreadsheet always contains up-to-date data.

SupperMetrics supports data from Facebook Ads, Instagram Insights, Google Ads, Google Analytics, HubSpot, LinkedIn Ads, Mailchimp, YouTube, and more.

Cost – The monthly pricing starts from €99/mo which lets you connect to 10 data sources.

2. Apipheny

Apipheny google sheets import tool

When it comes to cost, Supermetrics is not at all an affordable tool for everyone.

It might be priced fairly for marketers & agency owners, but if you’re just running a couple of accounts or an individual user, a lot of the features you’re paying for can quickly go to waste.

This is where its affordable alternative “Apipheny” comes into the picture:

Apipheny lets you connect to any data source’s API — allowing you to connect to a virtually infinite number of data sources.

Here is a YouTube video showing how you can use it to import data from external sources:

Cost – As mentioned earlier, it is a quite affordable tool compared to Supermetrics. It only costs $59/year or $8/month. You also get to test this tool free of cost for a one-month period.

Update – Apipheny is currently running a lifetime deal on Appsumo. You can get lifetime access to this tool for just $149.

Appsumo deal for Apipheny google sheets tool


05. Final Thought on Importing Data into Google Sheets:

That’s all about how to import data into Google Sheets through various ways.

Now you must be wondering which of the above method is best for you?

Well, It all depends on where the file you want to import is stored.

  • If it is stored locally on your computer, the built-in import feature is the best solution.
  • If it is hosted on a site, using IMPORTDATA & IMPORTHTML function might be more convenient.
  • Finally, if you want to import data from a third-party source like Google Analytics, Facebook ads, MySQL, Binance, Github, and other similar sources — using an add-on like “Apipheny” will be the best option.

Over to you: Which of the above method to import data to Google Sheets do you find more convenient? Let me know in the comment section…

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