Convert Excel spreadsheets in bulk

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 10, 2013
Windows, Windows software

If you have a stash of Excel spreadsheets on a backup drive or your main drive that you want to convert into different formats, for instance old xls files into the newer xlsx format that Microsoft introduced in Office 2007, you did not really have much choice until now but to convert them one by one. This is not always something that is practicable, considering that it takes time to convert Excel documents manually.

Simple MS Excel Document Converter is a free program for the Windows operating system that you can use to convert Excel spreadsheets in bulk into another format. The formats that you can convert xls or xlsx documents to are xls, xlsx, pdf, csv or xps.

Note that the program has several limitations that you need to be aware of:

  • You need Excel 2007 or newer installed on your system to convert documents. If you do not have it installed, the program won't convert the spreadsheets. You will receive an error that will notify you about that.
  • If you convert xlsx to xls spreadsheets you may lose some functionality if the source document makes use of features that xlsx supports but xls does not.
  • You can only convert to pdf or xps if you have Excel 2010 or newer installed on your system. If you have Excel 2007 installed, you can only convert to xls, xslx or csv.

convert excel spreadsheets

Converting Excel spreadsheets

The program itself is easy to use. Here are the steps to convert one or multiple spreadsheets into different formats:

  1. Select the output format that you want the spreadsheets converted to. Available are xls, xlsx, pdf, xps and csv
  2. Select the output folder where you want the converted documents to be saved in. They will retain the original file names, only the extension will be different after the conversion.
  3. Select the files you want to convert using the file browser. You can add xls and xlsx files and mix the two formats if you want. Note that you can't drag and drop files into the program interface, you need to use the select files button.
  4. Click on the start convert  button and wait until the conversion has finished.

Errors are indicated in red under status. You need to double-click on them to read the actual error message which can be inconvenient if you receive lots of error messages. A better way would be to either display errors when you mouse over, or display them directly in the status field.


The main advantage of the program is that it can convert as many Excel documents as you add to it to a different format. While you need to make sure that you have installed a required version of Excel to use it, it can speed up the conversion of documents significantly.

Simply Microsoft Excel Documents Converter is compatible with all recent versions of the Windows operating system. (via Freewaregenius)


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  1. Anonymous said on March 9, 2023 at 1:52 pm

    Does it come back after every “moment” update?

  2. Baloney said on March 9, 2023 at 2:23 pm

    Yeah right.. Like this is going to stop defender from running =) This is comedy gold right here.

  3. Anonymous said on March 9, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    no ‘about the author’ paragraph?

  4. Gregory said on March 9, 2023 at 4:19 pm

    For permanent disable defender is if removed complete from system no just change permission folder.

    Just this is joke.

  5. moi said on March 9, 2023 at 5:57 pm

    simpler, load Autoruns (SysInternals)
    – filter “Defender”
    – untag all entries
    – reboot
    nothing has changed since my 1st modification years ago

  6. John G. said on March 9, 2023 at 6:32 pm

    I wouldn’t disable Defender imho, it has too many hidden roots inside Windows itself. One time I tried to uninstall it using brute force scripts and then the Onedrive feature stopped working definitely. A reinstallation was needed and since those times I prefer to maintain Defender untouched. It’s a better method to install another antivirus and it will disable Defender in a safer and easier mode (e.g., Avast is the best in this way, and also Panda Cloud Free is good too).

  7. boris said on March 10, 2023 at 12:19 am

    You can not stop defender from running in background or remove it without some penalty. All you can do is to limit telemetry.

    1. TelV said on March 10, 2023 at 4:52 pm


      It’s probably Smartscreen which is preventing WD from being disabled. Get rid of that and the problem should be solved:

  8. hoho said on March 10, 2023 at 1:47 pm

    Remove Windows and go for Linux.

    1. basingstoke said on March 10, 2023 at 2:51 pm

      Linux sucks dude. Besides it’s not comparable to Windows, these OSes are in different classes entirely.

      1. Derp said on March 10, 2023 at 4:36 pm

        I use Linux as my daily driver. It’s far more stable than Windows. When’s the last time you used Linux, 2010?

      2. Bromosexual said on March 11, 2023 at 2:04 am


        You’re right, dude. Bro, linux is just a bunch of code that starts before the OS, dude. Brobrodude, that shit ain’t even got emojis, dudebrodudeman! Dudebro, it’s no way near as cool as Windows with its hardcoded abilities to make money off the user, bro. Yo brodude man, you’re the coolest dude ever man, bro. Dude.

      3. basingstoke said on August 16, 2023 at 7:20 pm

        Lol what? Windows 7 doesn’t come with any Emojis

  9. TelV said on March 10, 2023 at 4:46 pm

    Download Autoruns and remove the checkmark from Windows Defender. It doesn’t remove it, but it will never run.

  10. Simon said on March 10, 2023 at 8:37 pm

    Just use “Defender Control”:

    Per this video,
    it also works on Windows 11 too…

  11. Someone said on March 10, 2023 at 9:26 pm

    Win Defender, is completly the most succesful free-built in antivirus of Microsoft. Really nice product. Saved my ass a lot of times. Has updated malware database, completly strong defence
    from whatever smart screen disables. Or if you want better and more upgrated (paid) program,
    you can go further. But defender is always on your side.

  12. CalixtoWVR1 said on March 10, 2023 at 10:03 pm

    Why would one disable Windows (or Microsoft) Defender in the first place?. I consider this to be playing with fire big time. Everybody knows that if one is using another A-V, Defender will be disabled on its own and won’t be in one’s way.

  13. Ed D said on March 10, 2023 at 11:09 pm

    Why would I want to disable Windows Defender in the first place? It’s a great anti virus in my opinion. Been using it since Windows 8 and and never had a problem or a virus. Why mess with a good thing, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  14. owl said on August 17, 2023 at 1:57 am

    How a ridiculous article!
    I am thoroughly stunned.

    Why Should You Disable First-Party Windows Defender?
    I can only think that it is “malice or perversely intention (want you to buy a third-party AV where you can expect a back margin)” to guide invalidation without showing the premise.
    No sane company will use third-party closed source programs (such as AV).

    As I thought, “Ghacks Technology News” seems to be coming to downfall.

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