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How to view a spreadsheet on Android *without* changes being saved?

How to view a spreadsheet on Android *without* changes being saved?

ransomedbyfire
Explorer | Level 3

Dropbox keeps saving my changes as a separate version when I never asked it to. I am the only person who uses this spreadsheet, and I only intentionally edit on one laptop. I do sometimes view it on my Android phone in the Excel app when I'm away from my laptop, but *I don't want these changes to be saved*. I wouldn't *mind* these changes being saved if Dropbox didn't feel the need to create a new file every time I view the file on a different device. If I wanted that to happen, I could just keep different versions. (Isn't preventing this supposed to kind of be the *point* of Dropbox?)

Is there any way I can open the spreadsheet (and ideally filter it) on my Android without it causing all sorts of version control havoc?

7 Replies 7

Megan
Dropbox Staff

Hey @ransomedbyfire, welcome to our Community! 

 

Just to make sure we're on the same page here, it sounds like you use your Android mobile to preview Excel files using Dropbox, but when you do this then Dropbox creates a new, duplicated file? 

 

If I got this one wrong, feel free to correct me. 

 

Do you open these Excel files directly from Dropbox or Excel on your mobile? Also, let me know your device's current OS, please.

 

Keep me posted, and we'll take it from there!


Megan
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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ransomedbyfire
Explorer | Level 3

 

Thanks for the reply!

Yes, I use my Android mobile to preview Excel files using Dropbox, but when I do this then Dropbox creates a new, duplicated file. 


I probably should've mentioned that the file in question is an XLSM file with macros, and it has more than 256 columns in at least one tab.

Excel used to let me preview this file in the Dropbox app on my phone but recently started saying "Couldn't load file. Check your internet connection. Open with..." I have an older XLSX version of the file that I can preview on the Dropbox app.

I've opened this file from Dropbox using the "Open With" option, which opens it in the Excel app, and I've also opened it directly from Excel on my phone recently to see what would happen. Both options seem to cause this duplicate issue.

My phone is running Android 14.

I've experimented a little more, and I'm seeing that changes I make from my phone do show up in the version on my laptop. I actually like this. I just wish it didn't create duplicates.

Walter
Dropbox Staff

Thanks for the additional information @ransomedbyfire - much appreciated.

 

Could you let us know the version of the Dropbox mobile app installed on your phone and the version of the Excel app as well?

 

Does this happen with only this specific file or is it affecting other files too? How does this show in the file's version history and the events page

 

If you could send us a couple of screenshots so that we can have a visual too, I'd appreciate it.


Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
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ransomedbyfire
Explorer | Level 3

Hi Walt. I'm using version 380.2.2 of Dropbox and version 16.0.17628.20074 of Excel on my phone.

I tried a few things and put screenshots to hopefully tell a story in a Word doc embedded in a Dropbox Paper doc here.

A few things I noticed while doing this are:
Excel (on PC) thinks there are two identical files in my Dropbox folder on my PC that have different last revision times. These two files seemed identical today, but I think they sometimes aren't depending on how long it takes me to switch between the two files.

The conflicted copy of the file seems to have been created when I had the same file open on my laptop and my phone.

I didn't notice anything significant when Dropbox said it had created a new version, but maybe this isn't quite happening in real time?

Thanks!

 

Hannah
Dropbox Staff

Hey @ransomedbyfire, I'm afraid that for security reasons, we cannot open your Paper doc; can you attach your screenshots in your next reply.

 

Also, keep in mind that .xlsm is a file type that should not be supported for preview on the Dropbox mobile app.

 

Does it preview correctly on dropbox.com? And how large is the file in size?


Hannah
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
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ransomedbyfire
Explorer | Level 3

Yeah, I know Dropbox doesn't do XLSM previews (although I believe it used to since I have successfully previewed this file in the past.) And I actually like opening it in Excel on my phone. I just wish there was a way to prevent all this confusion that stems from it like how MS Teams/Excel 365 manages to not get confused when multiple people edit spreadsheets at work.

This is what I saw when I opened the spreadsheet on my laptop this morning. These screenshots are in chronological order.

ransomedbyfire_0-1717687224454.png

 

ransomedbyfire_1-1717687224470.png

 

ransomedbyfire_2-1717687224493.png

 

ransomedbyfire_3-1717687224531.png

 

ransomedbyfire_4-1717687224550.png

 

ransomedbyfire_5-1717687224634.png

 

 

This happened after I opened and closed one version of the file and then the other in Excel on my laptop.

ransomedbyfire_6-1717687224642.png

 

ransomedbyfire_7-1717687224651.png

 

ransomedbyfire_8-1717687224661.png

 

ransomedbyfire_9-1717687224691.png

 

 

Jay
Dropbox Staff

Hi @ransomedbyfire, thanks for the info. As the Excel mobile app frequently does an auto save, even if there aren't any changes, this could be why you're experiencing this issue. Currently, there isn't a way to change this via Dropbox.


Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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