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Although CSVs are a great format to use when storing huge amounts of data, they’re not necessarily the best file to use when distributing this data or sharing it with others. On the other hand, Google Sheets is the perfect tool for this, thanks to its web-based storage and amazing collaboration features.

Importing CSV to Google Sheets may seem like a complex process, but you can actually automate this entire process. In this article, you’ll learn how to upload CSV to your spreadsheet, convert CSV to Google Sheets, and create a CSV file in Google Sheets that is compatible with other programs both automatically and manually.

Finally, I will show you how to automatically import your CSV into a Google Sheet using Layer, as the most straightforward and effective solution.

How to upload/import CSV to Google Sheets?

If you want to know how to open a CSV file in Google Sheets, just know that open, upload, and import all mean the same thing in this case: to transfer CSV data into a Google spreadsheet so that the data ends up in the appropriate rows, columns, and cells.

The following steps will show you how to import CSV data into a Google Sheet:

  1. 1. Open an empty Google Sheet.
  2. 2. Go to File > Import.
  3. 3. Click on the “Upload” tab
How To Import CSV To Google Sheets Automatically Upload CSV to Google Sheets
  1. 4. Double-click the CSV file you want to import.
  2. 5. Select the “Append to current sheet” from the “Import location” dropdown menu. Once finished, click “Import data”.
How To Import CSV To Google Sheets Automatically Import CSV data to Google Sheets
  1. 6. Your Google Sheet should appropriately display the CSV data.
How To Import CSV To Google Sheets Automatically CSV data in Google Sheets

Importing multiple CSV files into Google Sheets requires coding or particular apps. However, you can carry out the above instructions on how to upload CSV to Google Sheets multiple times whilst in the same spreadsheet, which achieves the same goal without this level of complexity.

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How to convert CSV to Google Sheets?

Converting CSV to Google Sheets is similar to uploading, however, Google Drive has a setting that automatically converts and inputs CSV into a Google Sheet. You also end up with a spreadsheet automatically saved into your Google Drive when you convert a CSV file.

The following steps will show you how to activate this setting:

  1. 1. Open your Google Drive.
  2. 2. Click on the gear icon, then click “Settings”.
How To Import CSV To Google Sheets Automatically Import CSV to Google Sheets settings
  1. 3. Tick the box titled “Convert uploads” and click ‘Done’.
How To Import CSV To Google Sheets Automatically Convert uploads CSV to Google Sheets
  1. 4. Now it’s time to upload your CSV file as normal. Go to New > File upload.
  2. 5. Double-click the CSV file you want to import.
  3. 6. Double-click the new Google Sheet to view the data.

How to create a CSV file in Google Sheets?

While it is handy to know how to import and convert CSV data to Google Sheets, there will probably come a time when you need to do the opposite: create a CSV file with Google Sheets data. Fear not, however, as this process is very straightforward.

Follow these steps to learn how to create a CSV file in Google Sheets:

  1. 1. Open a Google Sheet containing your formatted data.
  2. 2. Go to File > Download > Comma Separated Values (.csv).
How To Import CSV To Google Sheets Automatically create CSV file in Google Sheets
  1. 3. Once the download is complete, you can view the CSV data by going to your computer’s home folders, locating the CSV file, and opening it either using a CSV compatible or text-based program.
  2. 4. The data should appear similar to the following screenshot.
How To Import CSV To Google Sheets Automatically download CSV from Google Sheets
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How to manually import CSV into Google Sheets?

Despite the usefulness of automatically uploading, converting, and creating CSV files, there are certain circumstances in which the only way of opening CSV data in Google Sheets is the old-fashioned way. For example, if you only want to import a small section of a large dataset rather than the whole thing, you must do it manually.

The following steps will show you how to manually import CSV data into a Google Sheet:

  1. 1. Open a blank spreadsheet.
  2. 2. Open your CSV file with a CSV-compatible or text-based app.
  3. 3. Highlight and copy the values you wish to import to Google Sheets and right-click > Copy, or use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl + C / Cmd + C.
How To Import CSV To Google Sheets Automatically manually copy CSV to Google Sheets
  1. 4. Paste your values into your Google Sheet cells with right-click > Paste, or using the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl + V / Cmd + V.
How To Import CSV To Google Sheets Automatically manually paste CSV to Google Sheets

Continue these steps for each section of data you wish to paste into a new column or row in your Google Sheet.

How to manage Google Sheets data with Layer?

Layer is a collaboration platform for spreadsheets that works on top of your existing Excel files and Google Sheets. Share parts of your spreadsheet, collect and consolidate data, and review changes to make collaboration seamless and more efficient while keeping full control over your data. Using Layer, you can:

  • Manage Access: Give spreadsheet access on a tab or cell level to relevant stakeholders.
  • Collaborate: Automate tasks, set deadlines, and communicate on top of your files.
  • Review & Track: Consolidate input, track changes, and restore previous versions.

Sign up to get started with Layer right now or schedule an onboarding call so we can help you set up and share your spreadsheet flows.

Conclusion

As you can see, CSV and Google Sheets aren’t enemies; they’re actually friends, perfectly compatible, and with multiple ways of connecting. Whether you want to import CSV to Google Sheets, convert CSV data to your spreadsheet, or create a CSV file from a Google Sheet, there’s a method for you.

As you’ve seen in this article, none of these methods are tricky or time-consuming, nor do they involve even the slightest bit of coding. All you need is Google Sheets, and you’re well enough equipped to take on any amount of CSV data.

With all the time you’re now going to save on your spreadsheets, why not check out one of our related articles? The related articles below are perfect to learn more about converting or importing data from one spreadsheet file to another:

Hady ElHady
Hady is Content Lead at Layer.

Hady has a passion for tech, marketing, and spreadsheets. Besides his Computer Science degree, he has vast experience in developing, launching, and scaling content marketing processes at SaaS startups.

Originally published Feb 9 2022, Updated May 30 2022