Work with files on the go thanks to an Excel 365 app


by Kara Hiltz


Microsoft Excel 365

Operating System:

Microsoft Windows

Most people spend just as much time on their smart phones or tablets as they do on a laptop or desktop computer. To keep up with this trend, Microsoft has included access to an Excel 365 app so you can work with your Excel files even when you’re away from your desk—even if you’re not an Excel 365 subscriber.

To introduce you to the Excel 365 app, we’ll:

  • Let you know how you can get it for free, and what enhanced features come as part of a paid Excel 365 subscription.
  • Demonstrate how to install the app on your smart phone or tablet (both for iOS and Android).
  • Compare and contrast the app’s features with the Excel program you’re used to on your computer.

Sometimes you can’t sit at your desk and work in an Excel file. You might be travelling to a remote location or commuting to a business meeting. If you want to take advantage of Excel’s best features while you’re on the go, Excel 365 is a terrific version for you.

As shown in Figure A, Microsoft offers Excel apps for smart phones and tablets—both iOS and Android. Your Excel 365 subscription gives you access to all of the features available in the Excel app.

In this article, we’ll give you an overview of the app and what it can do, along with how to download and install the app on your favorite device.



The Excel mobile app offers even more functionality for Office 365 subscribers.

Who gets the app?

Technically, anyone can get the Excel app on devices with screens smaller than 10.1”. Microsoft refers to the basic version of the app as the “core editing” features, and these features are available to anyone on these smaller mobile devices. If you have an Office 365 subscription, however, you get access to a greater set of app features.

There are two consumer subscriptions that include the Excel 365 app—Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal. An Office 365 Home plan starts at $9.99/month and includes the installation of Office apps on up to 5 phones and 5 tablets. The Office 365 Personal plan starts at $6.99/month and includes the installation of Office apps on one phone and one tablet.

Note:The subscription plans mentioned above are specific to consumers, not businesses. For more information on Office 365 apps and purchase plans for businesses, go to

Remember that when you store Excel files on OneDrive, or any other file storage service that keeps your work in the cloud, the changes you make and save on a mobile device will synchronize with the work you do with the same file on a different device or computer.

There’s a clear advantage to having access to Excel files on your mobile devices, but historically apps tend to have fewer features than the full software program. Let’s walk through the installation process for the Excel app and then see how the app compares to its desktop counterpart.

Download and install the mobile app

There are two types of mobile devices—Android devices and iOS devices (Apple products). Microsoft’s Office 365 apps are available for both types of tablets and smart phones. Here’s how to install Excel 365 on both types of devices.

To install the app on an iOS device:

  1. Open the App Store on your Apple iPhone or iPad.
  2. Click on the Search icon and search for Microsoft Excel.
  3. When you find the Microsoft Excel app, as shown in Figure B, tap on the Get button.
  4. The Get button changes to the Install button. Tap on the Install button to install the app on your device. (You may be prompted to enter your fingerprint ID or your Apple ID password.)

When the app is downloaded, you’ll see the icon on your device, as shown in Figure C. You may move it to any location on your Home screen, depending on how you organize your apps (e.g., in a folder).



Make sure you’re downloading the Excel app created by Microsoft Corporation, as this is the official Excel app.



The Excel app icon is easy to recognize.

To install the app on an Android device:

  1. Open the Google Play Store on your device.
  2. In the Search bar at the top of the screen, type Microsoft Excel.
  3. Tap on the Microsoft Excel icon that lists Microsoft Corporation as its creator, as shown in Figure D.
  4. [...]
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