How to Save in Google Sheets?

Do you really need to how to save in google sheets? I’ll “save” you the trouble of reading this guide and tell you straight out that it auto-saves like Dark Souls or any modern game. Any major action you do it will save. The save points are every edit you make or undo by pressing “Ctrl + Z”.

However, if you wish to learn more about the nature of the Google Sheets auto-save or how you can “Save as” or import your file locally to your HDD or SDD, we’ll cover that too below.

Why You Need to Know How to Save in Google Sheets

You should know the exact nature of the auto-save of Google Sheets so that you can keep track of the progress of your spreadsheet or go to previous versions without manually undoing every edit you’ve made.

You should also know how to “Save as” your Google Sheets file into other files such as Excel files that can be read by Microsoft Excel or PDF files that can only be read but not edited (so it’s the “final” version of your work).

You should even know how to make a new Google Sheet and save that as well! Of course, thankfully, the on-screen instructions on Google Sheets can teach you how as you tinker with the program.

How to Save in Google Sheets

Step 1: Open a new Google Sheets spreadsheet. My first edit on this spreadsheet? Rename it after this tutorial title.

How to Save Step 1 - Open new sheet in Google Sheets

Step 2: The very first edit I made was auto-saved by Google. The app itself informs me my edit was done 2 minutes ago.

How to Save Step 2 - Google auto-saves my edit

Step 3: The more you edit the spreadsheet, the more save points it will make per edit. Here, I’ve copied a simple table from an old Google Sheets project and pasted it unto the sheet. 

The app says the edit was seconds ago relative to when I made the screenshot.

How to Save Step 3 - The more you edit the more it saves

Step 4: The longer you’ve been working on a sheet the more it will save, to the point that it will save versions of the sheet from an hour ago or yesterday.

You can access the version history of any sheet by going to the “File” menu and selecting “Version history”.

You can “See version history” by clicking the option of the same name or using the keyboard shortcut of “Ctrl + Alt + Shift + H”.

You can even name the current version or any future versions so that you can revert or convert to any version you want.

How to Save Step 4 - How to access version history

Step 5: Here’s the Version History window. Because it’s a recently made file with unnamed version history changes, you only have two versions of it available named after the time they were edited.

How to Save Step 5A - Version History window

An older, more extensively edited spreadsheet file with multiple different sheets on it will give you a richer and thicker sidebar full of edits. If the spreadsheet is a shared file, it will also show edits by those given permission to edit the sheet or sheets and when they did the edits.

To exit the “Version History” window, just click on the back arrow on the upper-left corner of the screen.

How to Save Step 5B - The version history of an older more edited sheet

Step 6: I’ve made further edits by making a stacked area chart out of the data I’ve copy-pasted. All further edits should contribute to making further versions on Version History.

How to Save Step 6A - Further edits should result in further versions

The “Save as” equivalent of Google is found in the “File” menu labeled under “Download“. This will allow you to save the Google Sheets file to your HDD or SDD as various other files.

The formats that laymen are most familiar with include download as Excel file (as in Microsoft Excel), download as webpage, and download as PDF file (which you can’t edit).

How to Save Step 6B - Download is Google Sheets_ Save As equivalent

Downloading a hard-drive or local version of your Google Sheets allows you to save manually, as in you can click “Save” or “Ctrl + S” on Excel to save your work.

You can also technically “Import” Excel files to save them as Google Sheets by going to the “File” menu and selecting “Import”.

Step 7: You can also go for the “Make a Copy” option under the “File” menu as well. In other words, you’re “saving” a copy of your table onto the drive.

How to Save Step 7A - How to save a copy of your Google Sheets

Just give a name to the copy of the same file and save. You can edit it later and have it diverge from the original or have it serve as a redundant copy of the same file. You can even save the same comments found on the original. It’s up to you.

How to Save Step 7B - Put in your settings and make a copy

Example Spreadsheet: Make a copy of the example spreadsheet

To Sum Everything Up

Google Sheets, as typical of any cloud-based app that saves unto your Google Drive, auto-saves any changes you make on it. If you can’t undo, you can go to a previous version of your Google Sheet and open that version instead.

You can also save deliberately by downloading it as an Excel file and saving it from there. You can even get the PDF version of it.


  1. Create, view, or download a file“, Support, Retrieved June 24, 2022
  2. Sagar S., “How to save a file in Google spreadsheet“, YouTube, February 18, 2017
  3. Nicole Levine, “How to Save on Google Sheets on PC or Mac“, WikiHow, September 6, 2019

Andy Avery

I really enjoy helping people with their tech problems to make life easier, ​and that’s what I’ve been doing professionally for the past decade.

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