# How To Calculate The Number Of Days Between Two Dates In Excel

## Introduction

Calculating the number of days between two dates in Excel is a common task that is often required in various business and personal scenarios. Fortunately, Excel provides several built-in functions that make this task straightforward and easy to accomplish. In this article, we will explore the various methods you can use to calculate the number of days between two dates in Excel. We will also provide some tips and frequently asked questions to help you better understand this process.

## Method 1: Using the DATEDIF Function

The DATEDIF function is one of the easiest ways to calculate the number of days between two dates in Excel. This function returns the difference between two dates in days, months, or years, depending on the specified unit. To use the DATEDIF function, you need to follow these steps: 1. Select the cell where you want to display the result. 2. Type =DATEDIF(start_date, end_date, unit) in the formula bar, where start_date is the first date in the range, end_date is the last date in the range, and unit is the unit of measurement you want to use (e.g., “d” for days, “m” for months, “y” for years). 3. Press Enter to calculate the result.

## Method 2: Using the DAYS Function

The DAYS function is another easy way to calculate the number of days between two dates in Excel. This function returns the number of days between two dates, regardless of the unit of measurement. To use the DAYS function, you need to follow these steps: 1. Select the cell where you want to display the result. 2. Type =DAYS(end_date, start_date) in the formula bar, where end_date is the last date in the range, and start_date is the first date in the range. 3. Press Enter to calculate the result.

## Method 3: Subtracting Dates Directly

Another way to calculate the number of days between two dates in Excel is by subtracting one date from the other directly. This method is simple and straightforward, but it requires you to be careful with the date formats. To use this method, you need to follow these steps: 1. Select the cell where you want to display the result. 2. Type end_date – start_date in the formula bar, where end_date is the last date in the range, and start_date is the first date in the range. 3. Press Enter to calculate the result.

## Tips for Calculating the Number of Days Between Two Dates in Excel

– Always ensure that the dates are in the correct format. Excel recognizes several date formats, such as “dd/mm/yyyy,” “mm/dd/yyyy,” and “yyyy-mm-dd.” – Use the DATEDIF function if you want to calculate the number of days, months, or years between two dates. – Use the DAYS function if you want to calculate the number of days between two dates, regardless of the unit of measurement. – Subtract one date from the other directly if you want a quick and simple way to calculate the number of days between two dates.

## Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

**Q1: How do I calculate the number of days between two dates in Excel?** A: You can calculate the number of days between two dates in Excel by using the DATEDIF function, the DAYS function, or by subtracting one date from the other directly. **Q2: Can I use the DATEDIF function to calculate the number of months or years between two dates?** A: Yes, you can use the DATEDIF function to calculate the number of months or years between two dates. Simply change the unit argument to “m” for months or “y” for years. **Q3: What if the dates are not in the correct format?** A: Excel may not recognize the dates if they are not in the correct format. You can convert the dates to the correct format by using the DATEVALUE or TEXT functions. **Q4: How do I display the result as a positive number?** A: If the result is a negative number, you can display it as a positive number by using the ABS function. For example, =ABS(end_date – start_date). **Q5: Can I calculate the number of weekdays between two dates?** A: Yes, you can use the NETWORKDAYS function to calculate the number of weekdays between two dates. This function excludes weekends and specified holidays. **Q6: Can I calculate the number of hours, minutes, or seconds between two dates?** A: Yes, you can use the HOUR, MINUTE, or SECOND functions to extract the respective units from the result of the DATEDIF or DAYS function. **Q7: Can I use cell references instead of typing the dates directly?** A: Yes, you can use cell references instead of typing the dates directly in the formula. For example, =DATEDIF(A2, B2, “d”).

## Conclusion

Calculating the number of days between two dates in Excel is a useful skill that can save you time and improve your productivity. By using the methods and tips outlined in this article, you can easily calculate the number of days between two dates and use this information to make informed decisions in your personal and professional life.

### Tags:

Excel, Date Calculations, DATEDIF Function, DAYS Function, Tips, Frequently Asked Questions, Productivity