When I share Excel files that have features unsupported in Google Sheets (such as Pivot Tables), I would like to ask people to open the file in Excel (using the copy located in their Google Drive for Desktop folder).

Otherwise, if they make any changes to the file with Google Sheets, all the unsupported elements disappear.

I know that if people have the Application Launcher For Drive extension, it is possible to right-click on the file from the folder page and ask to open it in Excel. That's great because if Google Drive for Desktop is installed, it will open the local copy of the file so they can make changes in Excel and the version on Google Drive will stay updated. enter image description here

However, when I send a link to an Excel file directly, it will open inside Google Sheets and some people will inevitably try to edit the file. Is there a potential way to share a file directly with a link without people arriving in Google Sheets?

I know that I could tell the people to open the folder where the file is located where they can use the "Open with" feature, but if there is an easier way, that would be great.

  • @Joep van Steen - You are right and thanks for the migration. I see how it wasn't meant to be on superuser.com, but I also can't seem to find any questions with the tag google-spreadsheets that is not off-topic, so perhaps the existence of the tag is misleading. Commented Dec 7, 2022 at 22:55

1 Answer 1


Good news! I've found a workaround that doesn't involve having access to the folder where the file is located.

The key is to replace "spreadsheet" inside the URL with "file"

ie. form :

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Then the first option at the top for people with Google Drive for Desktop (and the Chrome extension Application Launcher for Drive) will see this:

enter image description here

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