Bypass Google Sheets Import Limit: Effective Strategies (2024)

Jason Gong
June 6, 2024

Use add-ons and extensions to bypass Google Sheets' import limits.

By the way, we're Bardeen, we build a free AI Agent for doing repetitive tasks.

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Google Sheets is a powerful tool for data analysis and management, but it has its limitations when it comes to handling large datasets. Importing data from Excel files can be particularly challenging due to cell count and file size restrictions. In this post, we'll explore practical strategies to bypass these limitations and efficiently manage large data in Google Sheets.

Understanding Google Sheets' Import Limitations

Google Sheets is a powerful spreadsheet tool, but it has limitations when importing large datasets. The maximum number of cells in a single sheet is 5 million, and the file size limit for imports is 100 MB. These restrictions can pose challenges for businesses and researchers working with extensive data. Connecting Google Sheets with other apps can mitigate some of these issues.

The impact of these limitations becomes evident when attempting to analyze and manage large datasets. Key issues include:

  • Inability to import complete datasets due to cell count or file size limits
  • Reduced performance and slower processing speeds when working with large data
  • Difficulty in collaborating and sharing large datasets within teams

To effectively utilize Google Sheets for large data handling, it's crucial to understand these limitations and develop strategies to bypass them. Adding AI to Google Sheets can enhance data management and streamline workflows. In the following sections, we'll explore practical tips and techniques to optimize your data and make the most of Google Sheets' capabilities.

Strategies to Manage Large Excel Files Before Import

When working with large datasets, it's essential to preprocess your Excel files before attempting to import them into Google Sheets. This can help reduce file size and optimize the data for a smoother import process. Here are some key strategies:

  • Data cleaning: Remove any unnecessary columns, rows, or formatting that may be inflating the file size. Focus on keeping only the essential data needed for your analysis.
  • Removing duplicates: Use Excel's built-in 'Remove Duplicates' feature to eliminate redundant data points, which can significantly reduce the overall file size.
  • Text to Columns: If your data contains combined information in a single column, use the 'Text to Columns' function to split it into separate columns. This can make the data more manageable and easier to analyze.
  • Conditional formatting: Highlight irrelevant or inconsistent data using conditional formatting rules. This can help you quickly identify and remove data that may be hindering your import process.

By applying these preprocessing techniques, you can optimize your large Excel files and increase the likelihood of a successful import into Google Sheets. Remember, the key is to reduce the file size while maintaining data integrity, making it easier to manage and analyze your information within the limitations of Google Sheets. For more advanced solutions, consider using tools like Excel integration with various platforms.

Using Bardeen to integrate Excel can automate many of these preprocessing steps. This saves you time and allows you to focus on your analysis.

Understanding Google Sheets' Import Limitations

Google Sheets is a powerful tool for data analysis and management, but it does have some inherent limitations when it comes to importing large datasets. One key restriction is the maximum number of cells allowed in a single sheet, which is currently set at 5 million cells. Additionally, Google Sheets has a file size limit for imports, typically around 100MB, depending on the file type.

These limitations can significantly impact businesses and researchers working with large datasets. When attempting to import files that exceed these limits, users may encounter errors or find that their data is truncated. This can lead to incomplete analyses, skewed results, and frustration when trying to manage and manipulate large amounts of information within Google Sheets.

To work around these limitations, it's essential to understand the specific restrictions and develop strategies for optimizing data before importing. This may involve preprocessing large files, splitting data across multiple sheets, or using advanced tools and integrations to scrape data efficiently. By being aware of Google Sheets' limitations and proactively addressing them, users can ensure a smoother experience when working with large datasets.

Utilizing Google Sheets Add-ons and Extensions

Google Sheets add-ons and extensions can significantly enhance your spreadsheet's functionality and help you bypass some of its limitations. These tools automate data handling, enable more sophisticated data management, and streamline your workflow.

Popular Google Sheets add-ons include:

  • Tiller Money Feeds: Automatically imports financial data from various sources into Google Sheets, making it easier to manage and analyze your finances.
  • Tiller Labs: Provides a suite of tools to enhance your spreadsheet's capabilities, such as advanced formatting options, data validation, and more.
  • Allows you to automate data imports from various sources, such as databases, CRMs, and advertising platforms, directly into Google Sheets.
  • Autocrat: Enables you to generate personalized documents, reports, and emails based on your Google Sheets data.
  • Yet Another Mail Merge: Lets you send personalized email campaigns directly from Google Sheets, with tracking and scheduling features.
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These add-ons can help you overcome Google Sheets' limitations by:

  • Automating data imports and updates, reducing manual work and ensuring data accuracy.
  • Providing advanced data manipulation and analysis tools not available in Google Sheets natively.
  • Enabling integration with external tools and platforms, expanding your data management capabilities.
  • Offering customizable templates and formatting options to enhance your spreadsheet's visual appeal and readability.

By leveraging these add-ons and extensions, you can create a more powerful, efficient, and streamlined data management system within Google Sheets, tailored to your specific business needs.

Splitting and Organizing Data Across Multiple Sheets

When working with large datasets in Google Sheets, you may encounter the single-sheet cell limit. To avoid this issue, you can split your data into multiple smaller spreadsheets. This technique allows you to manage and analyze your data more effectively.

Here are some practical tips for dividing and linking data across multiple sheets:

  1. Identify logical breakpoints in your data, such as categories, dates, or regions, to determine how to split your dataset into smaller, more manageable portions.
  2. Create separate sheets for each data subset, ensuring that each sheet remains within the cell limit.
  3. Use the IMPORTRANGE function to link data between sheets. This function allows you to reference data from one sheet in another, ensuring that your data remains connected and up-to-date.

The syntax for the IMPORTRANGE function is as follows:

=IMPORTRANGE("spreadsheet_url", "sheet_name!range")

Replace "spreadsheet_url" with the URL of the source spreadsheet and "sheet_name!range" with the name of the sheet and the range of cells you want to import.

Alternatively, you can use the Google Sheets query function to manage data across multiple files. This function allows you to pull specific data from other sheets based on criteria you define, such as:

=QUERY(IMPORTRANGE("spreadsheet_url", "sheet_name!range"), "select * where condition")

By splitting your large dataset into smaller, linked sheets and using functions like IMPORTRANGE and QUERY, you can effectively manage and analyze your data without hitting Google Sheets' cell limit. Consider using tools like data enrichment to enhance your dataset further.

Advanced Data Integration Techniques

For more complex data integration scenarios, you can leverage advanced techniques to automate data import and management tasks in Google Sheets. One powerful tool for this purpose is Google Apps Script, which allows you to write custom scripts to interact with Google Sheets and other Google services.

With Apps Script, you can:

  • Automatically import data from external sources, such as databases, APIs, or cloud storage, into Google Sheets.
  • Schedule regular data imports using time-driven triggers, ensuring your spreadsheet always has the most up-to-date information.
  • Perform data transformations, validations, and cleansing before importing the data into your spreadsheet.
  • Create custom functions and menu items to extend the functionality of Google Sheets.

Another advanced technique is to connect Google Sheets to external databases using intermediary services or custom connectors. This allows you to:

  • Sync data between Google Sheets and databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, or SQL Server.
  • Leverage the power of databases for complex queries and data processing, while still using Google Sheets for data analysis and visualization.
  • Automatically update your Google Sheets with the latest data from your database on a schedule or trigger.

To implement these advanced techniques, you may need to have some programming knowledge or work with a developer. However, the benefits of automating data integration and management can be significant, especially when dealing with large datasets or complex data workflows.

By leveraging tools like Google Apps Script and database connectors, you can create a seamless data pipeline that automatically imports, processes, and updates your data in Google Sheets, saving you time and effort in managing large datasets. For instance, you can enrich LinkedIn profiles directly in Google Sheets.

Bardeen can help scrape LinkedIn data and integrate it into Google Sheets. Save time and increase productivity by automating these tedious tasks.

Automate Google Sheets: Bypass Limits with Bardeen

While manually bypassing Google Sheets' import limit can be a complex process involving data segmentation and multiple imports, automation tools like Bardeen offer a more efficient solution. By automating data import and manipulation tasks, users can overcome Google Sheets' limitations without manual effort, significantly streamlining their workflows.

Below are examples of automations that can be built with Bardeen to enhance Google Sheets functionality:

  1. Copy all Github issues to Google Sheets: Automatically transfer all issues from a GitHub repository into a Google Sheets spreadsheet. Ideal for project managers and developers looking to streamline issue tracking.
  2. Enrich email contacts and save to Google Sheets: Enhance your email contact lists with additional information and save them directly to Google Sheets, perfect for marketers and sales professionals.
  3. Copy records from SmartSuite to Google Sheets: Seamlessly transfer records from SmartSuite into Google Sheets, enabling better data management and collaboration across tools.

By leveraging these automations, users can efficiently manage large datasets within Google Sheets, bypassing the platform's import limit and enhancing their data analysis capabilities. Get started by downloading the Bardeen app at

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