How to Open a Word Document in Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide


Matthew Burleigh

Opening a Word document in Google Docs is a simple process that can be completed in just a few steps. All you need is a Google account, the Word document you wish to open, and an internet connection. Once you’ve got those, you’re ready to go!

How to Open a Word Document in Google Docs

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s talk about why you’d want to open a Word document in Google Docs. Maybe you don’t have Microsoft Word on your computer, or perhaps you want to take advantage of Google Docs’ collaboration features. Whatever the reason, it’s handy to know how to make the switch.

Step 1: Go to Google Drive

Navigate to and sign in with your Google account.

Google Drive is the hub for all your online documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. It’s where you’ll upload your Word document so you can open it in Google Docs.

Step 2: Upload the Word Document

Click on the “+ New” button on the left side of the screen, then select “File upload.”

This step is crucial because you’re bringing your Word document into the Google ecosystem. You can also drag and drop the file directly into your browser if that’s more your style.

Step 3: Open the Word Document in Google Docs

Once the Word document is uploaded, right-click on it and select “Open with” followed by “Google Docs.”

And just like that, your Word document will open in a new tab as a Google Docs file. It’s that easy!

After completing these steps, your Word document will now be accessible as a Google Docs file, which means you can start editing right away. The formatting should be preserved, and you’ll have all of Google Docs’ tools at your disposal.

Tips for Opening a Word Document in Google Docs

  • Make sure your internet connection is stable before starting the upload.
  • If the formatting looks off, use Google Docs’ formatting tools to adjust it.
  • Remember to save your document. Google Docs auto-saves, but it’s a good habit to develop.
  • Share your Google Docs document with others for real-time collaboration.
  • Convert the Google Docs file back to a Word document if needed by going to “File” > “Download” > “Microsoft Word (.docx).”

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I don’t have a Google account?

You’ll need a Google account to use Google Docs. It’s free to sign up, and you’ll gain access to all of Google’s productivity tools.

Can I edit the Word document in Google Docs?

Absolutely! Once it’s opened in Google Docs, you can edit it as if you’d created the document in Google Docs from the start.

Will the formatting from Word stay the same in Google Docs?

Google Docs does a pretty good job of preserving formatting, but there might be minor differences. You can always tweak the formatting in Google Docs if needed.

Can I convert the Google Docs file back to Word?

Yes, you can. Just go to “File” > “Download” > “Microsoft Word (.docx)” to save your Google Docs file as a Word document again.

What if I want to collaborate on the Word document with others?

Once your Word document is in Google Docs, you can easily share it with others and collaborate in real time. Just click the “Share” button in the top right corner of the document.


  1. Go to Google Drive
  2. Upload the Word Document
  3. Open the Word Document in Google Docs


So there you have it, folks! Opening a Word document in Google Docs is as easy as one, two, three. Whether you’re looking to make use of Google’s superior collaboration features or simply don’t have access to Microsoft Word, Google Docs has got you covered. With the ability to preserve formatting and the option to switch back and forth between Word and Docs, it’s a flexible tool that’s perfect for anyone’s workflow. Now that you know how to open a Word document in Google Docs, the world (or at least the world of online document editing) is your oyster. Go forth and create, edit, and collaborate to your heart’s content!

Matthew Burleigh

Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech content online for more than ten years. He enjoys writing about Google Docs in addition to many other applications and devices and has cumulatively covered Google’s word-processing application in hundreds of different articles.

He has been published on dozens of popular websites, and his works have accumulated millions of pageviews.
While focused primarily on tutorials and guides for popular electronics like the iPhone and iPad, as well as common applications like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, he covers topics across the entire technology spectrum.

You can read his bio here.

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