Co-Author Excel Spreadsheet

Occasional Contributor

I am wondering if anyone has encountered this similar issue, and how they got it resolved? I have a Microsft 365 account but use the desktop apps instead of the cloud-based ones. I have created an Excel document that I am trying to share with another employee who is also part of our Microsoft 365 account. This document is backed up to Onedrive and when I have tried sharing it (through the desktop document) the other person can open and edit it BUT it's ONLY when they open it up in the browser, that we can "see each other. If this person tries to open that same document up in the desktop app, I cannot see that they are on there or the changes that have been made. But if they open it up in the browser, then I can. My question is; is there a way to co-author an Excel document without needing to open it up in a browser to be both working on it at the same time?  I should mention that we are both using Windows 10 desktop computers. Thanks in advance for your help. 

8 Replies
My suggestion would be to use a cloud site such as Dropbox. I'm not sure if 2 people can edit it at the same time. I use dropbox with different people able to see different files. Also it's free up to 5G I think

@Wildecoyote1966 Interesting and didn't realize that dropbox can be used when sharing a document. I will have to give that a try and see if that works? Do you recommend opening it up in dropbox first? Or sharing the document through the app? I still get confused between the two and don't understand why they differ. (meaning the hard copy that's saved to the computer, and the cloud-based one) 


In general it shall work in desktop app if you are on proper version of Excel and work with *.xlsx files. More is here Collaborate on Excel workbooks at the same time with co-authoring (


We have ours saved in Dropbox. we don't edit at the same time. I don't use the app only laptop
@Sergei Baklan thanks for reaching out! I have a Microsoft 365 subscription and have downloaded the desktop apps to my Windows 10 computer. I rarely use the Online version and save all my files to my computer that are backed up to my OneDrive account. The Excel file in which I am speaking of is saved as a .xlsm file and when I open it up from my computer AND open it up in the OneDrive at the same time THEN and only then can I see when my partner is online and making changes. But for some reason, I have to have BOTH files open at the same time. It will NOT work if I only have one or the other open. It's strange, I did try sharing the file from BOTH the desktop file and the OneDrive file but both come up with the same results. I have tried backing this file up to Dropbox but that didn't seem to make a difference. My partner does share my Microsoft so that isn't the issue either. I'm not sure why I would have to open the document up in OneDRive from a browser just to see each other and co-author a document? From what I have read, We BOTH should be able to open it up from our computers ONLY and not only see each other but co-author the same document that is being shared. Not sure what I am doing wrong?
Thanks, @Wildecoyote 1966 I did try this trick but sadly it didn't work. But thanks for the suggestion.
Is it maybe because I saved it in the .xlsm format? The only reason why I did that was that I had auto-save turned on and it said I couldn't because the file had macros. I have now tried to save it in the .xlsx format instead which turned off the autosave feature but will see if this makes a difference or not???
Ok, so I tried saving the document in the other format and that DID NOT work at all. I saved it, shared it and we both open it up but could NOT see each other or make changes simutanulously. Again, we bOTH have to open it from OneDrive ONLY to be able to see each other and make changes at the same time...weird!