Microsoft Excel (Desktop application) allows to have multiple users to work on the same document at the same time (co-authoring). This is a great feature, but it might not be available for you…

What you need to co-author?

  • You need an Office 365 subscription.
  • You need the latest version of Office installed. (Important)
  • You need to sign in to Office with your subscription account.
  • You need to use Excel Workbooks in .xlsx, .xlsm, or .xlsb files. If your file isn’t in this format, open the file and then click File > Save As > Browse > Save as type. Change the format to Excel Workbook (*.xlsx). Please note that co-authoring does not support the Strict Open XML Spreadsheet format.

Latest version of Office

Excel co-editing was introduced in July 2017. This explains why Excel co-authoring might not be available for you (if you don’t have the right version).

On top of the version number,
Co-authoring and autosave are not yet supported for customers who are on the FRDC or SA (semi-annual) release channel. These features are only available for customers on the current channel (CC).  (Even if your Office version is higher than 1707.8326.2058…)

To see the the type of update that your office subscription is on :

  • Open Excel
  • Goto Files
  • Click on Account
  • Look for Subcription product

If you are on Semi-annual Channel, Excel desktop application Co-authoring will not work.

You have to be on Current Channel

The update channels can be controlled by your Administrator, you might not have to option to change this.

More information on update channels

Version and build numbers of update channel releases

Hope this helps you understand.