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Excel Online VS Excel Desktop Pros and Cons of Each Version

Excel Online VS Excel Desktop: Pros and Cons of Each Version

The spreadsheet industry is dominated by Microsoft Excel. Data analysis, calculation, and organizing are all a breeze with their strong tools and features. However, users frequently find themselves torn between Excel Online and Excel Desktop when it comes to selecting the best version of Excel.

So in this blog post, we’ll be exploring Excel Online VS Excel Desktop. We’ll check their all pros & cons, etc.

Understanding Excel Online

What is Excel Online?

The online version of Microsoft Excel is called Excel Online. Through a web browser, users may access, create, edit, and collaborate on spreadsheets. As long as you have an internet connection, you can access and edit your files using Excel Online. Users may easily switch between the mobile and desktop versions because to the streamlined interface it offers.

Features of Excel Online

  • Collaborative editing in Excel Online includes the ability for several users to edit the same spreadsheet in real-time. One user’s changes are immediately mirrored for everyone to observe, which promotes effective teamwork.
  • Your Excel Online files are kept online, usually on Microsoft OneDrive. This eliminates the need to manually save your work and offers automatic backup, guaranteeing the security and portability of your data.
  • Cross-Platform Support: Excel Online works with a variety of platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. Additionally, it functions well on a variety of gadgets, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones, giving you freedom in how and where you work.

Exploring Excel Desktop

What is Excel Desktop?

The classic standalone program installed on your computer is called Excel Desktop, sometimes known as Excel for Windows or Excel for Mac. It includes all of Excel’s features and functionalities, as well as cutting-edge tools for automation, customization, and data analysis.

Features of Excel Desktop

  • Excel Desktop has advanced formulas, pivot tables, macros, and add-ins. Excel Desktop has comprehensive data analysis features. These features benefit power users who need advanced data manipulation and modeling tools.
  • Excel Desktop works offline, unlike Excel Online. This helps when working offline. Offline file access and modification ensure productivity.
  • Excel Desktop limits file size and performance more than Excel Online. It handles larger datasets and complex calculations better, making it suitable for resource-intensive tasks.

Pros & Cons of Excel Online


  • Excel Online features include accessibility: Accessing spreadsheets from any internet-connected device is beneficial whether working remotely or traveling.
  • Excel Online boosts teamwork: It’s ideal for group projects or stakeholder feedback because numerous users can modify the same spreadsheet.
  • Live Updates: Excel Online updates collaborators instantly. Everyone works on the latest spreadsheet, reducing version control issues.
  • In case of a power outage or computer crash, Excel Online automatically saves your work.
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: Excel Online supports Windows, Mac, and Linux. Switching devices is compatible.


  • Limited Functionality: Excel Online has many features, but it lacks some of the desktop version’s more advanced ones. Excel Online may limit users that utilize complex calculations, macros, or data analysis tools.
  • Excel Online requires a strong internet connection to work. Without the internet, you can’t work on your spreadsheets.
  • Excel Online limits file size. Working with files with several calculations or large datasets may limit your data management capacity.
  • Offline Access: Excel Online does not allow offline access to files like the desktop version. The Excel mobile app can edit offline, although not as well as the desktop version.

Pros & Cons of Excel Desktop


  • Excel Desktop has several advanced features for power users. Excel Desktop can handle complex data analysis, calculations, and macros.
  • Excel Desktop lets you control your files and data. Customize the program, make templates, and use add-ins to boost efficiency.
  • Performance: Excel Desktop’s performance optimizes large datasets and complex calculations. It handles resource-intensive tasks better than its online counterpart.
  • Excel Desktop’s offline access is a major benefit. It can be utilized offline or when internet connectivity is limited.


  • Excel Desktop Costs: Microsoft Office requires a license to use it. This may be a problem for budget-conscious users who don’t need the desktop edition’s full features.
  • Excel Desktop is platform-dependent, therefore it must be installed on Windows or macOS. This may restrict mixed-platform workers.
  • Excel Desktop has less fluid real-time collaboration than Excel Online. Excel Online’s real-time capability is more smooth than OneDrive or SharePoint’s.


In conclusion, Excel Online and Excel Desktop both have a unique mix of advantages and disadvantages. Excel Online is a practical option for remote work and collaborative projects since it provides accessibility, real-time collaboration, and cross-platform compatibility. However, it might be constrained in terms of sophisticated features and offline accessibility.

Excel Desktop, on the other hand, offers superior performance, extensive file control, and advanced functionality. Power users who need intricate data analysis, unique templates, and broad capabilities will find it to be suitable. Excel Desktop also offers offline access, enabling productivity even in locations with spotty internet service.

The decision between Excel Online and Excel Desktop ultimately comes down to your individual requirements and preferences. Excel Online is a good choice if you value accessibility, collaboration, and the flexibility to work from any device. Excel Desktop is the suggested option, nevertheless, if you need additional capabilities, total control, and higher performance.

When choosing your choice, keep in mind to take into account aspects like cost, reliance on the internet, file size restrictions, and platform compatibility. Choose the version of Excel that best fits your workflow and objectives after evaluating your needs.

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