How to View Excel Files on an iPhone

by Avery Martin
Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Excel files can be viewed on your iPhone provided you have installed the Numbers, Office 2 Plus or Documents Free application. Once installed, you can import Excel spreadsheets through iTunes, iCloud or by sending a spreadsheet through email, depending on the app you are using. If you decide to use iCloud with Numbers, you can keep your spreadsheets synced so that any changes made apply to all of your iCloud-enabled devices. Saving to iCloud also enables you to visit the iCloud website and download saved spreadsheets directly to your hard drive, regardless of the computer you are using.

Open a Spreadsheet Through Email With Numbers, Office 2 Plus or Quick View

Step 1

Launch your email program, and attach your Excel spreadsheet to the email.

Step 2

Send the email to an email address linked with your iPhone.

Step 3

Tap the "Mail" app on your iPhone.

Step 4

Locate the email message with the spreadsheet. Press and hold the spreadsheet attachment.

Select "Open in Numbers," or select the "Open In" option for Office 2 Plus. You may also select "Quick Look" to open most Excel files.

Sync With iCloud to Numbers

Step 1

Tap "Settings" then "iCloud" on your iPhone.

Step 2

Sign in with your Apple ID and password, or follow the prompts to create a new Apple ID.

Step 3

Tap the "Documents & Data" option, and make sure the slider is set to "On."

Step 4

Select "Apps" then tap "Numbers." Turn the Use iCloud slider to "On."

Step 5

On a PC, visit the iCloud website. Log in with the Apple ID and password used on your iPhone. Click on "iWork" then select "Numbers." Drag your Excel file to the Numbers workspace to upload the file. You can also complete this process on a Mac to upload a file to iCloud. Select the Apple menu, then "System Preferences" on a Mac. Then, click "iCloud" and ensure that "Documents & Data" is checked.

Tap "Numbers" on your iPhone, and select the document from the list of available documents.

Sync With iTunes to Numbers

Step 1

Connect your iPhone to your computer using the provided USB cable. Launch iTunes if the program doesn't launch automatically.

Step 2

Select your iPhone from the list of Devices. Select the "Apps" tab.

Step 3

Select "Numbers" in the Apps window in the File Sharing section.

Step 4

Click "Add." Select the Excel file you want to open, and click "Open."

Step 5

Tap "Numbers" on your iPhone.

Step 6

Select "Spreadsheets" view from the available buttons in Numbers.

Step 7

Tap "+" then tap "iTunes."

Select the Excel file you want to import from iTunes. Select the document to view the spreadsheet in Numbers.

Sync With iTunes to Office 2 Plus or Documents Free

Step 1

Launch iTunes with your iPhone connected to your computer using the USB cable.

Step 2

Click on your iPhone from the Devices section.

Step 3

Select "Apps" and locate the File Sharing section. Click on "Office 2 Plus" or "Documents" depending on the iPhone app you installed.

Step 4

Click "Add" and select the Excel file you want to make available on your iPhone.

Tap "Office 2 Plus" or "Documents" on your iPhone and then select your Excel file form the document list to open the spreadsheet.


  • Information in this article applies to an iPhone 5 running iOS 6 and Microsoft Excel 2010 for Windows. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.


  • Install Numbers, Office 2 Plus or Documents Free by opening the App Store on your iPhone. Search for the application name in the search box and then click the "Free" or "Buy Now" button. Provide your Apple ID and password and click "Install" to install the app.
  • Check the manufacturer to make sure you are installing the right application. Savy Soda manufactures Documents Free, Apple manufactures Numbers and Byte2 manufactures Office 2 Plus.
  • Numbers is a commercial application, but Office 2 Plus and Documents Free are both free options.


Photo Credits

  • Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images

About the Author

Avery Martin holds a Bachelor of Music in opera performance and a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian studies. As a professional writer, she has written for, Samsung and IBM. Martin contributed English translations for a collection of Japanese poems by Misuzu Kaneko. She has worked as an educator in Japan, and she runs a private voice studio out of her home. She writes about education, music and travel.

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