How to Compress Excel File: Effective Methods to Reduce File Size

If your Excel file is too large and you’re struggling to share it or store it efficiently, don’t worry. Compressing an Excel file is simple and can be done without much hassle. This guide will walk you through the steps to reduce the file size, making it easier to manage and share.

How to Compress Excel File

The following steps will help you compress an Excel file, reducing its size significantly. By the end of these steps, your Excel file will be much smaller and easier to handle.

Step 1: Remove Unnecessary Data

Start by removing any unused sheets, formatting, or data that you don’t need in your workbook.

Extra data can take up a lot of space. Think of it like clearing out a cluttered closet – the more you get rid of, the more room you’ll have.

Step 2: Use the Save As Option

Save the file as a binary workbook (.xlsb) by clicking on "Save As" and selecting the .xlsb file type.

Binary files tend to be smaller than regular Excel files. This trick can often cut down the file size without losing any functionality.

Step 3: Compress Pictures

If your Excel file has images, compress them by selecting an image, clicking "Format" in the toolbar, and selecting "Compress Pictures."

Images often take up a lot of space. Compressing them helps reduce the file size while maintaining reasonable quality.

Step 4: Remove Conditional Formatting

Go to the "Home" tab, click "Conditional Formatting," then select "Clear Rules" from the entire sheet.

Conditional formatting can be very useful, but it can also increase the file size. Clearing these rules can help make your file leaner.

Step 5: Zip the File

Right-click the Excel file, select "Send to," and then click "Compressed (zipped) folder."

Zipping the file compresses it even further, making it easier to share via email or store on your computer.

Once you complete these steps, your Excel file should be much smaller. This makes it easier to share with others and saves space on your storage devices.

Tips for How to Compress Excel File

  • Delete Unused Data: Always check for and remove hidden or unused sheets and data.
  • Save as Different Formats: Sometimes, saving the file in different formats like .xlsb can make a significant difference.
  • Limit Use of Images: Try not to use too many images or make sure they are already compressed.
  • Clean Up the Workbook: Remove any unnecessary cell formatting, comments, and links.
  • Use External Links: Instead of embedding large data sets, link to external files.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does compressing an Excel file affect its quality?

No, compressing an Excel file usually doesn’t affect its quality. You will still have access to all your data and functionalities.

Can I compress a file without third-party software?

Yes, you can use built-in features in Excel and Windows to compress files without needing extra software.

What if my file is still too large after compression?

If your file is still too large, consider breaking it into multiple smaller files or using specialized software for further compression.

How do I know if my pictures need compressing?

If your Excel file contains large, high-resolution images, compressing them will likely reduce the file size significantly.

Can I undo the compression if needed?

Yes, you can always save a new copy of the file in its original format if you need the higher-quality version.


  1. Remove unnecessary data.
  2. Use the save as option.
  3. Compress pictures.
  4. Remove conditional formatting.
  5. Zip the file.


Compressing an Excel file isn’t rocket science. With just a few simple steps, you can make your large Excel files more manageable. Whether you’re clearing out unnecessary data, changing the file format, or compressing images, each step helps to bring down the file size. And if those steps still don’t do the trick, zipping your file is a surefire way to make it smaller.

So, next time you’re pulling your hair out over a hefty Excel file, just remember these steps. You’ll be a file-compressing pro in no time. For more tips and tricks on managing your Excel files, keep exploring our articles. Happy compressing!

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