Google Sheets

How to Download Your Data from Google Sheets

Justin Pot Avatar
Written by Justin Pot
Last updated April 11, 2019

Maybe you need to plug your data into desktop software without Google Sheets integration. Maybe you need to share your data with someone who doesn't use Google Sheets. Or maybe you just want an offline copy of your spreadsheet for future reference.

Whatever the reason, sometimes you're going to want to download your data from Google Sheets. Here's how to download data from any individual Google spreadsheet, and how to download all of your Google Spreadsheets at once.

Download Data From Any Google Sheet

To get started open the spreadsheet you want to download. Then click File > Download as, then choose your preferred file format.

Click File then Download as to download data in Google Sheets

Which format should you use? The first two options are compatible with desktop office suites.

  • Microsoft Excel (.xlsx)
  • OpenDocument (.ods)
  • PDF Document (.pdf)
  • Web page (.html in a zipped archive)
  • Comma-seperated values (.csv)
  • Tab-seperated values (.tsv)

Which format should you use? It depends what you want. The first two options, Excel and OpenDocument, are spreadsheet files native to Microsoft Excel and LibreOffice respectively. Use one of these formats if you want to edit your spreadsheet using either of those programs.

The next two options, PDF and Web page, allow you to export your data into visual formats that any computer can open, which is useful. The downside: neither of these formats were designed with number crunching in mind, meaning you won't be able to really do anything with the data.

The final two options are open standards compatible with a wide range of applications. A Comma-separated values files (.csv) is a text document that uses commas to separate columns; a Tab-separated values file (.tsv) is a text document that uses tabs to separate columns. The simplicity of these file formats gives them longevity: You will almost certainly be able to open them decades from now. Many applications require you use these formats in order to import data.

Work out which format is right for you, then download your data.

Download All of Your Google Sheets Data

Want to download all of your Google Sheets? You can back up Google Drive by heading to takout.google.com. This service allows you to download all of your Google data, but you can limit it to just Google Drive by clicking Deselect all

Google Takeout deselect all

…and then making sure Google Drive is checked.

Google Drive in Google Takeout

Click Multiple formats to choose which file format you'd like your spreadsheets to download as.

File formats in Google Takeout

The formats are limited compared to above: only PDF, Excel, and OpenDocument are offered.

Google Sheets file formats in Google Takeout

Choose whichever format you prefer, then click OK. Now scroll to the bottom and click Next step to complete the process. You will eventually have a ZIP file containing all of your Google Drive documents, including every spreadsheet you've ever created in Google Sheets.

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