This blog post is a collection of the most important existing Google Docs and Google Sheets limits you need to know so everything loads and works like clockwork.
What system will run Google Docs like clockwork? Are there any file size limits? Is my formula in Google Sheets too big? Why is my add-on opening with a blank screen? Find the answers to these questions and other limitations below.
Google Sheets & Google Docs system requirements
First and foremost, you need to make sure your system is capable of loading all files, executing the features and keeping Google Sheets and Google Docs running altogether.
Not all browsers are supported, you see. And not all their versions.
So, you're good to go if you use one of the following browsers:
- Safari (Mac only)
- Microsoft Edge (Windows only)
Each of these has to be at least the 2nd most recent version.
Tip. Simply update your browser regularly or turn on its auto-update :)
Other versions may miss some features. So may other browsers.
Google Docs & Google Sheets file size limits
Once you get yourself a supported and updated browser, it's worth learning the max sizes of your files.
Sadly, you can't just load them with data endlessly. There's only a certain number of records/ symbols/ columns/ rows they may contain. With this knowledge in mind, you will plan your tasks and avoid facing a stuffed file.
When it comes to Google Sheets
There is a Google Sheets cell limit:
- Your spreadsheet can contain only 10 million cells.
- Or 18,278 columns (column ZZZ).
Also, each cell in Google Sheets has its data limit. A cell can have no more than 50,000 characters.
Note. Of course, you can't foresee the Google Sheets cell limit when you import other documents. In this case, such cells are simply removed from the file.
When it comes to Google Docs
Your document can have only 1.02 million characters.
If it's another text file that you convert to Google Docs, it can only be 50 MB in size.
Google Sheets (& Docs) limits for using extensions
Extensions are a huge part of Google Sheets & Docs. Look at our add-ons, for example ;) You install them from the Google Workspace Marketplace and they expand your possibilities in documents and spreadsheets immensely.
Alas, they are not magic wands. Google imposes some limits on them as well. These limits restrict different aspects of their work, like the time they process your data in one run.
These limits also depend on the level of your account. Business accounts are usually allowed more than free (gmail.com) accounts.
Below I'd like to point out only those limits that concern our add-ons in Google Sheets & Google Docs. If an extension is throwing an error, it may be due to these restrictions.
Tip. To see all Google Docs / Google Sheets limits, visit this page with official quotas for Google services.
|Feature||Personal free account||Business account|
|How many documents add-ons can create in your Drive||250/day||1,500/day|
|How many files can be converted with add-ons||2,000/day||4,000/day|
|The number of spreadsheets add-ons can create||250/day||3,200/day|
|Max time add-ons can process your data in one go||6 min/execution||6 min/execution|
|Max time custom functions can process your data in one go||30 sec/execution||30 sec/execution|
|The number of data sets that can be handled by add-ons simultaneously (e.g. in multiple tabs with different sheets or if one add-on breaks your data to pieces and processes several of them at once)||30/user||30/user|
|The number of times the add-on can save the settings you select in the add-on in your account (so they stay the same the next time you run the tool)||50,000/day||500,000/day|
|Max size of all your saved settings (properties) per add-on||9 KB/val||9 KB/val|
|The total size of all saved properties (for all installed add-ons) together||500 KB/ property store||500 KB/ property store|
Now, all aforementioned Google Docs and Google Sheets limitations regulate how the add-ons work when you run them manually.
But extensions can also be called by triggers — some actions in your document that run the add-ons for you.
For instance, take our Power Tools — you can set it to autostart every time you open a spreadsheet.
Or look at Remove Duplicates. It contains scenarios (the saved sets of settings that can be used multiple times) that you'll soon be able to schedule so they run at a certain time.
Such triggers in general have stricter Google Sheets limits:
|Feature||Personal free account||Business account|
|Total time add-ons can work when called by triggers||90 min/day||6 hr/day|
Google Sheets/Docs limits caused by known bugs
You do know that each Google service is yet another code written, provided and supported by programmers, right? :)
Like any other program, Google Sheets and Google Docs are not flawless. Many users caught various bugs occasionally. They report them to Google and it takes some time for teams to fix them.
Below I will mention a few of those known bugs that interfere with our add-ons most often.
Tip. Find the full list of these known issues on the corresponding pages on our website: for Google Sheets and for Google Docs.
Multiple Google accounts
If you're signed in to multiple Google accounts at the same time and trying to open or install/remove the add-on, you'll see errors or the add-on won't work correctly. Multiple accounts are not supported by extensions.
Custom functions are stuck on loading
A relatively new issue that has also been reported to Google. Though they tried to fix it, many people are still having the problem, so you'd better keep it in mind.
IMPORTRANGE internal error
Our Combine Sheets and Consolidate Sheets (both can also be found in Power Tools) use the standard IMPORTRANGE function when giving you the result with a dynamic formula. Sometimes, IMPORTRANGE returns an internal error and it's not the add-on's fault.
The bug has already been reported to Google, but, unfortunately, they can't fix it since too many different circumstances cause it.
Merged cells & comments in Sheets
There are no technical possibilities for the add-ons to see merged cells and comments. Hence, the latter is not processed and the former may result in unexpected values.
Bookmarks in Docs
Due to the Google Docs limits, add-ons can't remove bookmarks from pictures and tables.
Getting feedback and help on Google Docs & Google Sheets limits
As a spreadsheets and documents user, you're not alone :)
Whenever you're trying to accomplish a task and face problems, you can ask for help in corresponding communities:
or search & ask around our blog.
If you're in a business that owns Google Workspace subscription, you can ask your administrator to contact Google Workspace support for you.
If it's our add-ons you're having problems with, make sure to look through:
- their help pages (you can access them right from the add-ons by clicking a question mark at the bottom of the windows)
- known issues pages (for Google Sheets and for Google Docs)
or email us to email@example.com
If you know any other limitations that should be mentioned here or need some help, don't be shy and let us know in the comments!
I have a 1MB file in Google docs. When I try a find and replace on my iPad the screen goes black for a second and then I’m returned to my Home Screen. When I reduce the size of the document, find and replace works fine. Any ideas?
I'm sorry, we're not Google and are not affiliated with them. We also don't work with their apps since all our add-ons are for the desktop Google Sheets/Docs (used in the browsers on computers). You'd better contact their support regarding this technical problem. You may also try to find the solution here: Google Docs Community
I have a google document that has 1.5 million words on it
That's really interesting because the official Google Docs documentation still features that 1.02 million character limit. I'm not aware if they're trying to expand the limit and enroll it gradually nor have I seen any announcements regarding this change. As soon as the info is official, I'll be sure to edit the article.
My character limit was 1520425 exactly on Google Docs.
With around 646 & 1/2 pages, all filled to the max with the letter E. Although headers and footers were not tested. Font is Comfortaa, size 12.
Thanks for sharing the details! I'll try to reproduce this as well & add a note to the article if I succeed.
Actualy, would you mind sharing this Doc with us (firstname.lastname@example.org)? Just please don't email there since we use that account for file-sharing only and don't monitor its Inbox. If you share the file, please reply to this comment to let me know. Thanks!
As of September, 2022, when opening a long PDF in Google Docs, only the first 80 pages of the document appear. The remaining pages are lost.
We discovered this bug while working with our documents, but if you want to see the bug, download the the IRS Form 1040 directions (114 pages for Tax year 2021), and try to open with Google Docs. Only the first 80 pages appear.