How To Open XLSX Files on a Mac

Excel spreadsheets are an indispensable tool for students and professionals across various fields, allowing them to track any type of data. Whenever you’re pressed for time, Excel typically has a handy shortcut to speed up the process and get the job done efficiently. It’s no wonder you don’t want to give up these valuable files even when using a Mac. But how can you open an XLSX file on a Mac? Let’s find out.

How To Open XLSX Files on a Mac

How to Open an .XLSX File on a Mac

Using a Mac doesn’t necessarily mean you have to say goodbye to Microsoft Office. In fact, you can download the entire Microsoft Office suite for Mac. This way, you can combine the familiarity of Office with the unique Mac features that have drawn you to this Apple product.

Open an .XLSX File Using Microsoft Excel

You can download Microsoft Excel separately if you don’t need the whole set of Office apps for working on a Mac.

Microsoft Office is the go-to app for opening XLSX files on Windows and Mac. If you’re used to the app’s interface on Windows, you’ll be happy to know that the Mac version is virtually no different.

After installing the app on your Mac, double-click your desired XLSX file to open it.

This option is perfect, as you don’t need to learn to use new software. Keep in mind that the app might be initially free to download, but it still requires you to have a qualifying Microsoft 365 subscription to use it.

If you don’t feel like paying for a subscription, there are other free ways to open XLSX files on your Mac.

How To Open an XLSX File on Mac Without Excel

You might’ve decided to embrace the Mac lifestyle and bid Microsoft Office farewell. If that’s the case, don’t worry; you can still open XLSX files on a Mac even without the Microsoft Excel app.

Open an .XLSX File Using Numbers

Numbers is Apple’s built-in spreadsheet software. It typically comes preinstalled on all new Mac devices. If you don’t have the app on your computer for some reason, you can easily download it from the App Store.

The Numbers app allows you to open and edit XLSX files hassle-free. All you need to do is drag the Excel file you want to open to the Numbers icon in the Dock or the Applications folder. If you’re already using the app, you can easily find the desired Excel file on your Mac by following these steps.

  1. Click on the “File” tab in the menu bar at the top of your screen.
  2. Select “Open.”
  3. Locate the XLSX file you want to open.

Suppose the Excel spreadsheet is stored somewhere outside your Mac, such as the iCloud Drive. In that case, you’ll need to select the file location from the left sidebar. Alternatively, you can click the pop-up menu at the top of the dialogue box and choose the location where your file is stored. To open the file in Numbers, simply double-click it.

The Excel spreadsheet may contain a font not installed on your Mac. In that case, you’ll receive a missing font notification at the top of the spreadsheet once you open it. To resolve the issue, click the Show button in the notification and choose a replacement font from the Font Book.

Open an .XLSX File Using Google Sheets

There’s an option to open an XLSX file online without using any installed apps, all thanks to Google Sheets.

While this method might be the most convenient, it’s worth noting that this online spreadsheet software doesn’t come with the same advanced tools as Microsoft Office. As a result, some of your formatting and formulas might get lost. If all you need is to quickly review some data, this potential loss shouldn’t be a problem.

Going this route requires you to upload the file to Google’s online cloud-based service before you access it.

If you’re OK with both of these, here’s how you can open an XLSX file using Google Sheets.

  1. Go to the Google Drive website.
  2. If necessary, log in using your Google account.
  3. Drag and drop your Excel file into Google Drive.
  4. After uploading the file, click on it and select “Open With.”
  5. Choose the “Google Sheets” option.

The XLSX file will be converted into a Google Sheets file and will open in a new window. If you make any changes to the file, you can save it as follows.

  1. Navigate to the “File” tab.
  2. Click on “Download As.”
  3. Select the “Microsoft Excel” option.

Open an .XLSX File Using a Third-Party App

Although XLSX files are created and saved using the Microsoft Excel app, they are also compatible with several third-party spreadsheet apps across the macOS.


OpenOffice is a free software suite compatible with other major office suites, including Microsoft Office. The suite features most of the same apps as its Microsoft counterpart, with the Calc app replacing Excel. This spreadsheet app has an intuitive interface and a comprehensive range of advanced functions, making it perfect for all your number crunching.

To open an XLSX file using the OpenOffice Calc app, do the following.

  1. Download and install the OpenOffice suite.
  2. Launch the Calc app.
  3. Click on the “Open” tab on the toolbar.
  4. Select “File.”
  5. Tap the “Open” option.
  6. Locate the Excel file you want to view.
  7. Click “Open.”


LibreOffice is a free and powerful office suite used by millions worldwide. The suite is actually based on OpenOffice and is entirely compatible with the Microsoft Office suite. Its feature-rich Calc app is easy to navigate and will serve as an excellent replacement for Microsoft Excel.

Follow these steps to open an XLSX file using LibreOffice.

  1. Download and install the LibreOffice suite.
  2. Open the Calc app.
  3. Navigate to the “Open” tab.
  4. Select “File.”
  5. Choose the “Open” option.
  6. Find the desired XLSX file.
  7. Click “Open.”

WPS Office

WPS Office is a comprehensive office suite, fully compatible with the Microsoft Office software suite. This professional software allows you to open and edit Excel files using its handy Spreadsheet app.

Here’s how to open an XLSX file using the WPS Office suite.

  1. Download and install the WPS Office suite.
  2. Launch the Spreadsheet app.
  3. Click on the “Menu” button in the top-left corner of your screen.
  4. Select “Open” from the drop-down menu.
  5. Locate the file you want to open in the “Open File” pop-up window.
  6. Click “Open.”

Excel at Spreadsheets on a Mac

Excel spreadsheets are highly visual and reasonably easy to use, making them an invaluable tool for business analysis, performance reporting, and many administrative tasks. These spreadsheets are also compatible with several apps available for Mac, allowing you to use them even without a Windows computer. Whether you go for Mac’s built-in tool, the online route, or a third-party app, opening an XLSX file won’t take you more than a few clicks.

Have you ever had to open an XLSX file on a Mac? What method did you use? Let us know in the comments section below.

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