How to embed Google Drive images in Google Sheets

embed google drive images in sheets

How do you embed an image from Google Drive into a Google Sheets Spreadsheet?

You would have thought it would be a simple click of a button to embed an image stored on Google Drive into a Google Sheets spreadsheet. As you no doubt already know, it ain’t so. That’s why you’re here, right?

Don’t worry, it’s not terribly difficult. All it takes is one line of code and you’ll be able to display any Google Drive image inside any cell of a Google Sheets spreadsheet.

And here is that line of code:


Use the formula above and replace “shareable_link” with the shareable link from your desired image.

And that’s it! Pretty painless, eh?

Now you too can easily embed Google Drive images into any Google Sheets spreadsheet.

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24 thoughts on “How to embed Google Drive images in Google Sheets

  1. Hi Lee,

    QQ- I use this method as well and it works great but, I had everything perfect on Friday the images were displaying and then this morning I opened my sheet and the URLs were still there but the images were not. Super odd. Do you know why this might happen? I had to re enter everything to get it back to normal.

    Thank you!

    1. Hmm, that is weird. I wonder if it timed out and the browser cached it or something. Either that or something changed in your Google Drive ecosystem that changed the shareable link (it is autogenerated after all), perhaps.

  2. I think there are several ways for this trick/hack to fail. The first is if you’re using a G Suite domain version of Sheets and the Admin has locked down your ability to share outside of your domain. So, some schools or businesses might have a problem using this. The primary requirement for images in cells to work is that the image is available on the web without a sign-in credential. If you can’t post images publicly, this method won’t work.

  3. I am unable to get this to work. I have tried it with both the formula in the cell and using the cell reference to another cell with the shareable link. This is a free Google account I use outside of my company’s domain so I can use the Google Suite. The formula is posted in cell if I click on it, but no picture appears. I would greatly appreciate any help you can give me on this.

        1. Nope. You can keep the spreadsheet as locked down as you like. The =IMAGE() function will allow you to use any image that is publicly viewable from the web.

          1. Ok, I’m 50% there. I cleared my cookies/history and tried from another computer. I can do it with pasting image share url directly to the pic cell.
            The reference formula still is giving me a run for my money. It has to be something so simple..

          2. Try taking the quotes off “F5”:

  4. I am trying
    with a totally public image and from my personal account but no photo is showing, can anyone help?

    1. Hi Becs, I worked out what’s going on. Google serves shareable links in two different formats. If you go to the Google Drive folder and right-click the item you want to put into the spreadsheet, then select “Get shareable link”, you will get a link that looks like:

      If you open the file and get the shareable link from there it will look like this:

      The first link is the one you want.

      You could adjust the formula to work with the other type of link by substituting “” with “” and by removing “/view?usp=sharing”.

  5. Thanks for this, works great.

    I have one slight problem with it though, the images i’ve embedded at 2:1 ratio. The images appear rotated to fit the ratio of the cell, for example a protrait image will be rotated 90 degrees, while a landscape image will be unrotated. Any idea whats up?


    1. Never seen that, to be honest. I wonder if it’s the result of an update to Google Sheets. I need to investigate.

  6. It is working for me apart from one thing: all of my images are showing with the short side horizontal, long side vertical, regardless of their orientation in the google drive. It’s not the end of the world but it’s not ideal for viewing the images. Is there a way to fix this? Thank you!

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