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Excel 365 vs. Excel 2021

Updated: Feb 26

Excel 365 and Excel 2021 Compared

Microsoft Excel 365 and Microsoft Excel 2021 are two versions of the popular spreadsheet software developed by Microsoft. While they share many similarities, there are also several differences between the two versions, including their features, pricing, and availability.

Excel 365 and Excel 2021 both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Excel 365

Microsoft Excel 365


  • Access to the latest features and updates With a subscription to Microsoft Excel 365, users receive regular updates that include new features and capabilities. This ensures that users always have access to the latest tools and functions.

  • Access to cloud-based features Microsoft Excel 365 includes features such as OneDrive and SharePoint that allow users to store and share files online. This makes it easy to collaborate with others and access files from anywhere with an internet connection.

  • Flexibility Microsoft Excel 365 is a subscription-based service that can be paid for on a monthly or yearly basis. This makes it more flexible and cost-effective for users who do not need the software all year round.


  • Ongoing cost Microsoft Excel 365 requires users to pay a subscription fee to continue using the software. This can add up over time, and may not be cost-effective for users who only need the software for short periods of time.

  • Reliance on internet connection Many of the cloud-based features of Microsoft Excel 365 require an internet connection. This may be a disadvantage for users who frequently work in areas with poor connectivity.

Excel 2021

Microsoft Excel 2021


  • One-time purchase Microsoft Excel 2021 is a one-time purchase that provides users with access to the software without the need for ongoing subscription fees. This can be a cost-effective option for users who only need the software for a limited period of time.

  • Reliable performance Because Microsoft Excel 2021 is installed on a user's computer, it does not rely on an internet connection for all features. This can result in faster and more reliable performance.

  • Privacy and security Because Microsoft Excel 2021 is installed on a user's computer, data and files are stored locally, which may provide users with greater privacy and security.


  • Limited updates and features Microsoft Excel 2021 does not receive regular updates and feature additions like Microsoft Excel 365. This means that users may miss out on new and improved tools and functions.

  • Limited collaboration While Microsoft Excel 2021 does include some collaboration features, they are not as robust as those found in Microsoft Excel 365. This can make it difficult for users to collaborate on projects with others.


​EXCEL 365

EXCEL 2021


Subscription based

One-time purchase

Latest Features

Yes, with regular updates

No, limited updates

Cloud-Based Features


No, local storage only


Yes, robust features

Limited features

Internet Connection

Required for some features

Not required

Privacy & security

Cloud-based, might be a concern

Local storage, more security

Ultimately, the choice between the two versions will depend on the specific needs and requirements of the user.


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