How to open a Numbers file in Excel

Apple has a productivity suite, iWork, which includes a spreadsheet app called Numbers. It has its own file format for saving files even though it supports CSV. The Numbers file has its own proprietary format which means that it will not be easy to open or edit if you do not have access to Mac and the Numbers app.

numbers in excellence

Number files in Excel

Numbers are very popular but Microsoft Excel does not have nearly the same number of users. Excel is available in both macOS and Windows 10 which makes it much more likely to be used than the Numbers app. If you have a .NUMBERS file, and need to open it in Excel, you will find that the format is not compatible. Excel will try to open or repair the file but it will not be able to go.

Export numbers file to Excel

If you want to open a Numbers file in Excel, you need to convert it first. This is reliably possible if you have access to a Mac and the Numbers app is installed on it.

  1. Open the Numbers file in the Numbers app.
  2. Go to File> Export> Excel.
  3. Save the file in Excel format.
  4. Open the export file.

Open in iCloud

Although you cannot open a Numbers file in Excel, or in Google Sheets, you can still open it online in iCloud. You need an Apple ID but you don’t have to have a Mac.

  1. Visit iCloud.
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID.
  3. Select the Numbers app.
  4. Click on the upload icon.
  5. Select the Numbers file and upload it.
  6. Once uploaded, you can open the file in your browser.

Online conversion tools

There are online conversion tools that claim to be able to convert a Numbers file to an Excel file. They may or may not work. They may be able to convert a file but whether or not the converted file opens in Excel is a different story. If it opens, there is a good chance that some data will be lost.


The Numbers app, and the Numbers form of property, means you can’t do much about it. Apple reserves the right to keep the format as restrictive as it wishes and is likely to retain it as exclusive as possible. Of course he will. If you have received a Numbers file and need to open it in Excel, ask the sender of the file to convert it for you. The conversion tool is built into the app to make it less cumbersome.

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