While Google Docs has always been a popular choice for those who want to access, share, and sign documents with ease, there are times when you need your documents in a tried-and-true format, such as DOCX. If you have a document stored in Google Docs and would like to download an offline copy, it’s easy to convert Google Docs to Microsoft Word format.
We’ll also show you how to go the other way, converting Microsoft’s DOCX documents to the Docs format and opening them.
Note: while you can convert documents from Google Docs to Word, there is no guarantee that the formatting in your document will be preserved during the conversion.
Convert Microsoft Word (.docx) Files to Google Docs
Convert Single Word Document to Google Docs
Let’s start with converting Word to Google Docs files. Say someone sends you a Word document via email and you want to edit it with all the cloud-based bells and whistles of Google Docs. What then?
First, you need to get that Word document onto Google Drive. If you have the Google Drive app, you can just place the Word document in your Google Drive folder on your desktop, or you can drag-and-drop the Word document into Google Drive when it’s open in your browser.
Once the document is on Google Drive, open Google Drive in your browser, find the document, and double-click it to open it.
You’ll see that the document opens on Google Docs, but is still in the “.docx” format.
To change it to a bona fide Google Doc, click “File -> Save As Google Docs”. And that’s it! Your Word file is now a Google Doc, and backed up in the cloud.
Convert Multiple .docx Documents to Google Docs
If you want every single .docx Word document to turn into a Google Doc upon uploading it to Google Drive, you can do that too.
In Google Drive, click the Settings cog at the top right corner -> Settings then check the “Convert uploaded files to Google Docs editor format” box then click “Done”.
That’s it. You can now drag-and-drop multiple .docx. files at once into Google Drive and it will automatically convert them for you.
Alternatively, on the main Google Drive page you can click “New -> File upload” then hold Ctrl or Shift as you click documents to batch-select them.
Convert Google Docs to Microsoft Word
Convert Single Google Doc to Microsoft Word
Because Google Docs are in an online format, we can’t just import them into Word! In order to use them within Microsoft Word, we will need to convert Google Docs to Microsoft Word’s DOCX format, then download it afterward. You can easily perform this conversion from both Google Docs and Google Drive.
If you want to convert to DOC format, you’ll need to open the converted DOCX file in Word and then save as a DOC format. If you don’t have Word installed, you can do this online, too.
Converting within Google Docs
First, open the file you want to convert to Word format. Click “File” at the top of the document, then hover over “Download.”
You’ll see a list of options appear within this menu. As you can see, conversion to Word documents isn’t the only thing Google Docs can do! If you’re ever need to download a Google Doc as a PDF, or even convert one into the EPUB ebook format, you can come back to this menu and do that. For now, however, we’ll click the “Microsoft Word” option.
Google Docs will open a “Save As … ” window where you can select where you want to save the document. Once saved to a memorable location, you’ll be able to open the file in Microsoft Word.
Converting within Google Drive
For Google Drive, it’s even easier to perform this conversion. You won’t be able to perform a conversion to other formats (like PDF and EPUB) in Drive, but if you’re just after a Word document, this method works perfectly fine.
To do this, locate the document you want to convert in your Google Drive, then right-click it and click “Download.”
Google Drive will automatically convert it to a Word format and open up a “Save As … ” window to save it.
Convert Multiple Documents at Once
Sometimes you don’t want to save just one document as a DOCX file. Sometimes you want to convert multiple Google Docs into Word documents all at the same time. Unfortunately, because the Google Docs method relies on you entering each document to download it, it’s a little time consuming to download them all. However, because Drive performs its conversion through a right-click menu on the main page, we can do it there instead for a much faster and easier experience.
Batch Converting within Google Drive
The Google Drive batch download method works near-identically to downloading a single document. However, if you hold down the Ctrl key when you click on files, you can select multiple files all at once. The files that are selected in the batch will light up in blue as you click them.
Then, right-click any of the highlighted ones and click “Download” as normal.
When you click this, Google Drive will convert all the documents selected, then pack them into a ZIP file. When it’s done, it’ll give you the ZIP file to download. Just save this somewhere memorable and unzip it to access all of your files.
Despite all the benefits of cloud storage, sometimes you just need an offline copy of your documents. With a few clicks, you can convert Google Docs to Microsoft Word files (and the other way round) with very little hassle.
If you’re trying to retain all your formatting, try converting it to PDF instead to ensure nothing gets left behind.
How much do you find yourself using cloud-based documents over “physical” ones? Let us know below!