Edit and download Office files

You can edit Microsoft® Office files on the web using a Chrome browser, Chromebook, or the Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps. Downloading Office files is only available in the Chrome browser.

Edit Office files

When you edit Office files on a Chromebook or in the Docs, Sheets, or Slides app, Office Compatibility Mode (OCM) is automatically turned on and any changes you make are automatically saved. In a Chrome browser, you need a Chrome extension to edit Office files.

Chromebook

To edit Office files on a Chromebook, see instructions in the Chromebook help center.

Docs, Sheets, or Slides app (Android)

You need the latest versions of the Docs, Sheets, or Slides app on your Android device.

To edit Office files in the Docs, Sheets, or Slides app, open an Office file and start editing.

How to know you’re in Office Compatibility Mode (OCM)

  1. Open the Docs, Sheets, or Slides app.
  2. Open an Office file.
  3. Touch the Menu icon .
  4. You’ll see “Office Compatibility Mode” in the menu. You can edit the file or save it to Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides.
Chrome browser

To edit Office files in a Chrome browser, download the Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides Chrome extension.

To start editing an Office file:

  • Google Drive (new version only): Open any Office file. Office files can't be edited in the classic version of Google Drive.
  • Docs, Sheets, or Slides home screen: Open any Office file.
  • Gmail: When viewing a preview of an Office attachment, click Open in Docs (or Sheets/Slides).
  • Local storage: Click File > Open file in the menu of your Chrome browser. You can also drag a file from your desktop into a Chrome browser window or use Ctrl + O (Cmd + O on a Mac) on your keyboard.
  • Third-party websites: On a webpage, click on a link to an Office file.

How to know you’re in Office Compatibility Mode (OCM)

  1. Open an Office file.
  2. Click the File menu.
  3. You’ll see "Office Compatibility Mode" in the menu. You can edit the file or save it to Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides.
Edit an Office file with other people

If you want to edit an Office file with others in real time, save the file as a Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides file. Learn more about converting a file to Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides.

Download Office files

Downloading Office files is only available in the Chrome browser.

Chrome browser

To download Office files:

  1. Open an Office file.
  2. Make edits.
  3. In the top right, click the Download button.

Note: If you have an Office file open and lose your Internet connection, you’ll still be able to download the file.

Troubleshoot issues when editing Office files

Troubleshooting tips

If you’re having trouble editing files, here are some things to try:

  • Reload the tab. Try reloading the tab that contains your Office file.
  • Check that you’re working with a compatible file type. Chrome and Chromebooks can only open .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, and .pptx files.
  • Save Office files to the 2007 version of Office or later. You’ll have to upgrade older files to the 2007 version.
  • Avoid corrupted or password-protected files. They won’t open in OCM.
  • Make sure your file isn’t too big. Check out file size limits.
  • Make sure the Native Client plug-in is enabled. Chromebooks use this plugin to open Office documents. To check, type about:plugins and make sure “Native Client” is marked as enabled.

Related topics

Matt is a Docs & Drive expert and author of this help page. Leave him feedback below about the page.

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