In this article I will explain with an example, how to read (import) Excel file without using OLEDB or installing Microsoft Office Excel or Interop Library in C# and VB.Net.
The Excel file will be read using ClosedXml and OpenXml DLLs which does not require OLEDB and does not require Microsoft Office Excel or Interop Library software to be installed.
 
 
Download DocumentFormat.OpenXml and ClosedXml Libraries
You can download the libraries using the following download locations.
Note: The DLL files of both OpenXml and ClosedXml are present in the attached sample.
 
 

Form Controls
I have added a DataGridView and a Button to the Windows Form. I have also added an OpenFileDialog to the Form which allow us to select the excel file.
Read (Import) Excel file without OLEDB, Microsoft Office or Interop Library in C# and VB.Net
 
 
Namespaces
You will need to import the following namespaces.
C#
using System.IO;
using System.Data;
using ClosedXML.Excel;
 
VB.Net
Imports System.IO
Imports System.Data
Imports ClosedXML.Excel
 
 
Selecting the Excel File
When the Select File button is clicked, it shows the Open File Dialog, using which we need to select the Excel file we want to import to DataGridView control.
C#
private void btnSelect_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    openFileDialog1.ShowDialog();
}
 
VB.Net
Private Sub btnSelect_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles btnSelect.Click
    OpenFileDialog1.ShowDialog()
End Sub
 
Read (Import) Excel file without OLEDB, Microsoft Office or Interop Library in C# and VB.Net
 
 
Importing the Excel File’s Sheet to DataGridView control
When the Open Button is clicked, the following event handler is executed. First the path of the selected Excel file is read and then the Excel file is read using the ClosedXml WorkBook class object.
Then the instance of the first Sheet is determined and all the rows present in the Sheet are fetched.
Finally a loop is executed over the fetched rows and a DataTable is populated which is then used to populate the DataGridView.
C#
private void openFileDialog1_FileOk(object sender, System.ComponentModel.CancelEventArgs e)
{
    string filePath = openFileDialog1.FileName;
 
    //Open the Excel file using ClosedXML.
    using (XLWorkbook workBook = new XLWorkbook(filePath))
    {
        //Read the first Sheet from Excel file.
        IXLWorksheet workSheet = workBook.Worksheet(1);
 
        //Create a new DataTable.
        DataTable dt = new DataTable();
 
        //Loop through the Worksheet rows.
        bool firstRow = true;
        foreach (IXLRow row in workSheet.Rows())
        {
            //Use the first row to add columns to DataTable.
            if (firstRow)
            {
                foreach (IXLCell cell in row.Cells())
                {
                    dt.Columns.Add(cell.Value.ToString());
                }
                firstRow = false;
            }
            else
            {
                //Add rows to DataTable.
                dt.Rows.Add();
                int i = 0;
                foreach (IXLCell cell in row.Cells())
                {
                    dt.Rows[dt.Rows.Count - 1][i] = cell.Value.ToString();
                    i++;
                }
            }
 
            dataGridView1.DataSource = dt;
        }
    }
}
 
VB.Net
Private Sub openFileDialog1_FileOk(sender As Object, e As System.ComponentModel.CancelEventArgs) Handles OpenFileDialog1.FileOk
    Dim filePath As String = OpenFileDialog1.FileName
    'Open the Excel file using ClosedXML.
    Using workBook As New XLWorkbook(filePath)
        'Read the first Sheet from Excel file.
        Dim workSheet As IXLWorksheet = workBook.Worksheet(1)
 
        'Create a new DataTable.
        Dim dt As New DataTable()
 
        'Loop through the Worksheet rows.
        Dim firstRow As Boolean = True
        For Each row As IXLRow In workSheet.Rows()
            'Use the first row to add columns to DataTable.
            If firstRow Then
                For Each cell As IXLCell In row.Cells()
                    dt.Columns.Add(cell.Value.ToString())
                Next
                firstRow = False
            Else
                'Add rows to DataTable.
                dt.Rows.Add()
                Dim i As Integer = 0
                For Each cell As IXLCell In row.Cells()
                    dt.Rows(dt.Rows.Count - 1)(i) = cell.Value.ToString()
                    i += 1
                Next
            End If
 
            dataGridView1.DataSource = dt
        Next
    End Using
End Sub
 
 
Screenshots
Excel File
Read (Import) Excel file without OLEDB, Microsoft Office or Interop Library in C# and VB.Net
 
DataGridView with Excel data
Read (Import) Excel file without OLEDB, Microsoft Office or Interop Library in C# and VB.Net
 
 
Downloads