Dropbox: Excel Files Using VBA Macros


Dropbox, Microsoft 365


I have an Excel file that uses VBA macros that I uploaded to Dropbox. How can I interact with it and edit it while using the macros?


Dropbox allows users to open Excel files in multiple ways, but not all are compatible with VBA macros. VBA macros do not work with Excel for the web, and users will encounter an error if they attempt to use/edit the macros in that mode. Recommended alternatives are:

Download the file (Recommended if no collaboration is necessary)

  1. Go to U-M Dropbox and select the file.
  2. Click the Download button at the top of your files/folders list.
    • If you do not find this option, and you are not the owner of the file, downloading may have been turned off by the owner.
  3. Open the file with the Excel desktop app.
  4. Enable macros for the document if prompted.

This option will download a copy of the file to your computer. Changes to that copy will not be reflected in the Dropbox copy.

  • If you would like the Dropbox copy to be updated, you will need to upload the edited version to the same location as the current Dropbox copy. (Ensure the file also has the exact same name as the Dropbox copy.) Dropbox will automatically create a new version of the file without needing to redo your sharing settings on the file.

Open the file in the Excel desktop app through Dropbox (Recommended for collaborative documents)

  1. Go to U-M Dropbox and select the file.
  2. Click the Open in button at the top of your files/folders list.
  3. Select the Preview (Dropbox) or Microsoft Excel (not Excel for the web) option.
  4. Enable macros for the document if prompted.
  5. Make changes to the document and save.
    1. These changes will be reflected in the Dropbox copy.
    2. Only one person should edit the document at a time to avoid conflicting copies/changes not saving.
    3. If multiple people need to edit at once, consider avoiding VBA macros, so Excel for the web can be utilized instead.

Additional Information

Need additional information or assistance? Contact the ITS Service Center.


Article ID: 8759
Thu 8/25/22 10:55 AM
Mon 11/13/23 12:34 PM

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This article explains how to open Microsoft files stored in U-M Dropbox locally in the desktop Microsoft 365 Office productivity apps.