Reduce the file size of a workbook

You have a great workbook that has lots of information, and it’s shared with people on Office 365. Unfortunately, the workbook won’t display in a browser window because its file size is too big. Depending on what’s in the workbook, where the workbook resides, and whether you have edit permissions for the workbook, there are some steps you can take to reduce the file size of a workbook. You can, for example, take one or more of the following actions:

If the workbook contains a Data Model, consider optimizing it.

Workbooks can be larger than we expect them to be, especially when they contain a powerful Data Model. This is especially true if the Data Model contains a lot of extra data that is not being used. Once you’ve opened a workbook in Excel 2013, you can easily find out whether the workbook contains a Data Model.

  1. On the Data tab, choose Connections to open the Workbook Connections dialog box.

  2. Scroll through the list of connections and look for an item that has Data Model listed in the Description column. If you find it, then the workbook contains a Data Model.

One good way to optimize a Data Model is to configure it to bring in only the data that you need. Here are some resources to get you started:

If the workbook contains images or shaded cells, consider removing them.

Images and shaded cells can also increase the file size of a workbook. If your workbook contains a lot of images or shaded cells, you might consider removing them. Shaded cells and shaded pages can also consume disk space. For more information about working with images in Excel, see the following resources:

If the workbook somehow got corrupted, try repairing it.

Workbooks can sometimes get corrupted from problems with macros or other issues. Corrupted workbooks can consume an excessive amount of disk space. If your workbook is corrupted, you can try to repair it in Excel. For more information, see Repair a corrupted workbook.

Make sure the workbook is saved in the right location

What’s the right location for a workbook? The answer depends on several factors.

  • If it’s a workbook that you want to share with other people, then you probably want to put it in a Documents library in a site such as a team site. Only people who have access to that team site will be able to access the workbook. And, if the workbook’s file size does not exceed 10 MB, people will generally be able to view the workbook in a browser window.

  • If your organization is using Power BI for Office 365, then you might want to save it to a Power BI site, which can support much larger workbooks (up to 250 MB) in a browser window.

  • If you’re sending the workbook to people in email messages, bear in mind that Outlook Web App can only support workbooks that are smaller than 5 MB in a browser window.

For more information about file size limits, see File size limits for workbooks in SharePoint Online.

Applies To: Excel 2013, Office 365 End User, Excel Online, SharePoint Online



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