8 Ways to Reduce Excel File Size 


Excel sheet

Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheet program is a part of the Office family of business software programs. Users of Excel may compute data in a spreadsheet. Do check out: compress excel file

The more data/formula/images are in the Excel sheet/workbooks it gets slow or sometimes hangs So it’s always simpler to cut some flab and keep the size in check, but it’s not always the answer. Another drawback is that because Excel workbooks are not web-based, you must send them through email after you’re done, and email has a size limit, making it challenging to share large files. Another option for sending workbooks is through IBM (Lotus Notes email client) but this takes a long time to send.

8 ways to reduce excel file size

You may use the methods listed below to make your Excel workbook reduced in file size.

  1. remove unwanted data or worksheets

This is one of the easiest ways to reduce your file size, you just have to remove unwanted data or worksheets from your workbook, this is the most direct way to reduce the file size.

You can do this by re-checking your sheets.

  1. transform/convert the format

XLSB – It’s a format to save the workbooks. ( saves as binary.bin file )

Other formats – XLSX & XLSM ( saves as XML file )

XLSB format helps to reduce the file size so it’s preferred.


This format has a higher reduction rate of files. These comparatively consume more size.
This format tend to save faster and opens quickly These are slow and takes time to save
You have no means of knowing whether a macro is included in an XLSB format. You will be able to know if it includes macro
With XLSB  file Power query cannot read data If you use power query it’s recommended to use other formats.
It supports larger files In general, it’s best to stay with the XLSX/XLSM formats if your file is short (less than 5 MB).
  1. Remove unwanted formula

Formulas will increase the file size so if there are unwanted formulas you should remove it with the special key option in the dialog box.

Tip: be aware of volatile formulas that increase the file size massively.

  1. 4. Compress image

If there is a requirement of images or photos in the worksheets you should compress it before or after you import it to the worksheet.

  1. Remove pivot cache

If you use pivot tables in your excel sheet then  you should remove the pivot cache because they consume space.

  1. You remove the source data and keep the pivot cache
  2. Or you can remove the pivot cache and keep the source data
  1. Delete data formatting

Data formatting – background color, borders, changed font styles etc

So if you remove these data formatting you will be able to save up some space.


  1. Remove conditional format

This also adds up to the size and removes it  if it’s unwanted.

  1. Compress the file

Just like how you compress an image you will be able to compress a file.


These techniques do not magically reduce the size but a practical way to do so. Your data will determine how these Excel file size reduction approaches affect you. It could help some people shrink the size by 50%, while for some people reduce the size by 5%.