This guide covers how to upload an Excel file to Google Drive and how to open it with Google Sheets.

How to Upload an Excel File to Google Drive

To upload an Excel file to Google Drive, follow these steps:

  1. Open your web browser and navigate to Google Drive ( or open the Google Drive app on your mobile device.
  2. Sign in to your Google account if you aren’t already.
  3. Click the “+ New” button in the top left corner of the screen (on web) or at the bottom of the screen (on mobile app).
  4. Select “File” from the drop-down menu.
  5. Choose where you want to upload the Excel file. For instance, you could place it in the main Google Drive folder or a specific subfolder.
  6. In the pop-up “File” window, click the “Upload” button (represented by an upward arrow) or drag the Excel file from your computer’s file explorer or your phone’s file storage app to the upload window.

The Excel file will then be uploaded to your Google Drive. Once the upload is complete, you can access it from your Google Drive on all your connected devices.

Google Sheets vs Excel: What’s the Difference?

Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel are spreadsheet programs used for organizing, analyzing, and manipulating data. Here are some key differences between Google Sheets and Excel:

  • Platform and Accessibility: Google Sheets is a cloud-based application, accessible via a web browser, while Excel is a desktop application installed locally on a computer. This means that Google Sheets can be used on any device with an internet connection, while Excel requires installation on each device.
  • Real-time Collaboration: Google Sheets is designed for real-time collaboration, meaning multiple users can edit the same file simultaneously and see the changes in real time. Excel also offers collaboration features, but they often require more traditional file backups and sharing.
  • Cost: Google Sheets is free for personal and business use, while Excel is generally included in paid software suites such as Microsoft Office or available for purchase as a standalone application.
  • Advanced Features: Excel typically offers a broader set of advanced features compared to Google Sheets. Excel is often preferred for complex data analyses, custom macros, pivot tables, and more advanced functions. However, Google Sheets offers a solid set of basic features for most common spreadsheet needs.
  • Integration with Other Apps: Google Sheets integrates easily with other Google apps such as Google Forms, Google Docs, and Google Slides, making it easier to create cohesive workflows. Excel offers integrations with other Microsoft products such as Word and PowerPoint, as well as with development and automation tools like VBA (Visual Basic for Applications).
  • Customization and Formatting: Excel often provides more control over data formatting, chart customization, and cell formatting. Google Sheets also offers customization options, but they may be more limited in comparison.

How to Share an Excel File in Google Sheets

To share an Excel file in Google Sheets, follow these steps:

  1. Open your Excel file in Google Sheets by importing it into Google Drive. For this, follow the instructions to upload your Excel file to Google Drive, then open it with Google Sheets.
  2. Once you have the file open in Google Sheets, click the “Share” button in the top right corner of the screen. It’s represented by a silhouette icon with a “+”.
  3. In the “Share with others” pop-up window, enter the email addresses of the people you wish to share the file with. You can also adjust the sharing settings by selecting the appropriate options.
  4. Choose the appropriate access permissions for each person: “Can view”, “Can edit”, or “Is owner”. You can also add an optional message to accompany the sharing email.
  5. Click the “Send” button to send the sharing email containing the link to the Google Sheets file.

The recipients will receive an email containing a link to the Google Sheets file. Depending on the permissions you’ve set, they’ll be able to view, edit, or collaborate in real-time on the file. Changes made by collaborators will be automatically saved and synced with the original file in Google Sheets.