Import ranges from other spreadsheets using IMPORTRANGE | Zoho Sheet Help Guide

Import ranges from other spreadsheets using IMPORTRANGE

What is IMPORTRANGE, and when to use it?

One of the impressive things about spreadsheets, as opposed to other applications for computation or data storage, is being able to refer to the value of one cell in whichever cell you want, even as part of a function. This makes the dependent calculations dynamic, so they change as and when the original cell value changes. As an extension of referring to cells within a spreadsheet, the IMPORTRANGE function helps the user in linking one spreadsheet to another, and bringing in the range that you want to refer to. Like all cell references, the ones made with the IMPORTRANGE function are also dynamic, and change as and when the source is edited!

 The syntax for the function is: 


How to use the Link Spreadsheet option? 

To get the IMPORTRANGE function working, you must first make sure that the spreadsheet you want to import the range from is linked to the spreadsheet you are working on. For example, if you want to import ranges from the spreadsheet 'January 2020' to spreadsheet 'February 2020', then you will have to link 'January 2020' to 'February 2020'. You can do this using the Link Spreadsheet dialog box. However, the prerequisite to link a spreadsheet with another, is to have at least the access to read the said spreadsheet.


Link spreadsheets dialog box for IMPORTRANGE


    1. Click the Data tab in the menu bar.

    2. Tap on Link Spreadsheet to open the Link Spreadsheet dialog box 

    3. Copy the URL or the Resource ID of the sheet that you want to link, and paste it to the dialog box. The spreadsheet will be added to the list of Linked Spreadsheets in the same dialog box. A Resource ID is part of the URL of the spreadsheet and is the alphanumeric record right after the 'open/' in the URL. 

After the spreadsheets are linked, you can go use the spreadsheets in the IMPORTRANGE function! 

Please note that linking 'January 2020' to 'February 2020' only lets you import a range from the former to the latter. You cannot, with the same linking, import ranges from 'February 2020' into 'January 2020'.

Managing linked spreadsheets

The permission to link these spreadsheets can be revoked at any time. To do this,

    1. Open the Data tab on the menu bar.

    2. Click on Link Spreadsheets. A dialog box with the list of already linked spreadsheets will open.

    3. You can click on the 'Delete' icon next to the spreadsheets' name to revoke the link permission.

Please note that when this permission is revoked, you'll no longer be able to fetch or import ranges from that spreadsheet anymore, unless it is linked again.

Possible errors you might come across

 The following is a list of common errors you may come across, as well as potential reasons for encountering them: 


The possible reason could be


a. Spreadsheet 'January 2020' hasn't been linked with spreadsheet 'February 2020' yet. If this is the case, you can use the Link now prompt in the cell.

b. You previously linked the spreadsheets, but now your read access to 'January 2020', or write access to 'February 2020' has been revoked.



The range you've referred to is not found. Check if you've furnished the sheet name correctly while specifying the range that you want to import. Ensure that the sheet name in the range is enclosed within single quotation marks.

Renaming the linked sheet will result in the formula throwing a #REF error. You'll have to edit the formula and enter the new name to fix this.


You get a #CIRCULARREF when you're trying to point the IMPORTRANGE function to its own result, one way or the other.

Say for instance, you're trying to import the range 'Sheet1.A1' from 'January 2020' to 'February 2020'. If the A1 cell in 'Jan 2020' is already an imported copy of 'Sheet1.A1' from 'February 2020', then the function throws a #CIRCULARREF error.


An unexpected error occurred while trying to fetch your data.


It took longer than usual to fetch the ranges from the spreadsheet 'January 2020'. The volume of data imported and the stability of your internet connection are often reasons why there is a #TIME_OUT error.


If you have any other questions about how to use the IMPORTRANGE function, or if you are in need of assistanceyou can reach us at

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