How to change date format in Excel and create custom formatting

The first part of our tutorial focuses of formatting dates in Excel and explains how to set the default date and time formats, how to change date format in Excel, how to create custom date formatting, and convert your dates to another locale.

Along with numbers, dates and times are the most common data types people use in Excel. However, they may be quite confusing to work with, firstly, because the same date can be displayed in Excel in a variety of ways, and secondly, because Excel always internally stores dates in the same format regardless of how you have formatted a date in a given cell.

Knowing the Excel date formats a little in depth can help you save a ton of your time. And this is exactly the aim of our comprehensive tutorial to working with dates in Excel. In the first part, we will be focusing on the following features:

Excel date format

Before you can take advantage of powerful Excel date features, you have to understand how Microsoft Excel stores dates and times, because this is the main source of confusion. While you would expect Excel to remember the day, month and the year for a date, that's not how it works...

Excel stores dates as sequential numbers and it is only a cell's formatting that causes a number to be displayed as a date, time, or date and time.

Dates in Excel

All dates are stored as integers representing the number of days since January 1, 1900, which is stored as number 1, to December 31, 9999 stored as 2958465.

In this system:

  • 2 is 2-Jan-1900
  • 3 is 3-Jan-1900
  • 42005 is 1-Jan-2015 (because it is 42,005 days after January 1, 1900)

Time in Excel

Times are stored in Excel as decimals, between .0 and .99999, that represent a proportion of the day where .0 is 00:00:00 and .99999 is 23:59:59.

For example:

  • 0.25 is 06:00 AM
  • 0.5 is 12:00 PM
  • 0.541655093 is 12:59:59 PM

Dates & Times in Excel

Excel stores dates and times as decimal numbers comprised of an integer representing the date and a decimal portion representing the time.

For example:

  • 1.25 is January 1, 1900 6:00 AM
  • 42005.5 is January 1, 2015 12:00 PM

How to convert date to number in Excel

If you want to know what serial number represents a certain date or time displayed in a cell, you can do this in two ways.

1. Format Cells dialog

Select the cell with a date in Excel, press Ctrl+1 to open the Format Cells window and switch to the General tab.

If you just want to know the serial number behind the date, without actually converting date to number, write down the number you see under Sample and click Cancel to close the window. If you want to replace the date with the number in a cell, click OK.
Use the Format Cells dialog to get the number behind a given date in Excel.

2. Excel DATEVALUE and TIMEVALUE functions

Use the DATEVALUE() function to convert an Excel date to a serial number, for example =DATEVALUE("1/1/2015").

Use the TIMEVALUE() function to get the decimal number representing the time, for example =TIMEVALUE("6:30 AM").

To know both, date and time, concatenate these two functions in the following way:

=DATEVALUE("1/1/2015") & TIMEVALUE("6:00 AM")

Use the DATEVALUE and TIMEVALUE functions to find the number behind a given date and time in Excel.

Note. Since Excel's serial numbers begins on January 1, 1900 and negative numbers aren't recognized, dates prior to the year 1900 are not supported in Excel.

If you enter such a date in a sheet, say 12/31/1899, it will be a text value rather than a date, meaning that you cannot perform usual date arithmetic on early dates. To make sure, you can type the formula =DATEVALUE("12/31/1899") in some cell, and you will get an anticipated result - the #VALUE! error.

If you are dealing with date and time values and you'd like to convert time to decimal number, please check out the formulas described in this tutorial: How to convert time to decimal number in Excel.

Default date format in Excel

When you work with dates in Excel, the short and long date formats are retrieved from your Windows Regional settings. These default formats are marked with an asterisk (*) in the Format Cell dialog window:
Default date formats in Excel

The default date and time formats in the Format Cell box change as soon as you change the date and time settings in Control Panel, which leads us right to the next section.

How to change the default date and time formats in Excel

If you want to set a different default date and/or time formats on your computer, for example change the USA date format to the UK style, go to Control panel and click Region and Language. If in your Control panel opens in Category view, then click Clock, Language, and Region > Region and Language > Change the date, time, or number format.

On the Formats tab, choose the region under Format, and then set the date and time formatting by clicking on an arrow next to the format you want to change and selecting the desired one from the drop-down list:
Setting the default date and time formats in Control panel

Tip. If you are not sure what different codes (such as mmm, ddd, yyy) mean, click the "What does the notation mean" link under the Date and time formats section, or check the Custom Excel date formats in this tutorial.

If you are not happy with any time and date format available on the Formats tab, click the Additional settings button in the lower right-hand side of the Region and Language dialog window. This will open the Customize dialog, where you switch to the Date tab and enter a custom short or/and long date format in the corresponding box.
Setting the custom date and time formats

How to quickly apply default date and time formatting in Excel

Microsoft Excel has two default formats for dates and time - short and long, as explained in default Excel date format.

To quickly change date format in Excel to the default formatting, do the following:

  • Select the dates you want to format.
  • On the Home tab, in the Number group, click the little arrow next to the Number Format box, and select the desired format - short date, long date or time.

Quickly applying the default date and time formatting in Excel

If you want more date formatting options, either select More Number Formats from the drop-down list or click the Dialog Box Launcher next to Number. This will open a familiar Format Cells dialog and you can change date format there.

Click the Dialog Box Launcher to open the Format Cells dialog.

Tip. If you want to quickly set date format in Excel to dd-mmm-yy, press Ctrl+Shift+#. Just keep in mind that this shortcut always applies the dd-mmm-yy format, like 01-Jan-15, regardless of your Windows Region settings.

How to change date format in Excel

In Microsoft Excel, dates can be displayed in a variety of ways. When it comes to changing date format of a given cell or range of cells, the easiest way is to open the Format Cells dialog and choose one of the predefined formats.

  1. Select the dates whose format your want to change, or empty cells where you want to insert dates.
  2. Press Ctrl+1 to open the Format Cells dialog. Alternatively, you can right click the selected cells and choose Format Cells… from the context menu.
  3. In the Format Cells window, switch to the Number tab, and select Date in the Category list.
  4. Under Type, pick a desired date format. Once you do this, the Sample box will display the format preview with the first date in your selected data.
    Changing the date format in Excel
  5. If you are happy for the preview, click the OK button to save the format change and close the window.

If the date format is not changing in your Excel sheet, most likely your dates are formatted as text and you have to convert them to the date format first.

How to convert date format to another locale

Once you've got a file full of foreign dates and you would most likely want to change them to the date format used in your part of the world. Let's say, you want to convert an American date format (month/day/year) to a European style format (day/month/year).

The easiest way to change date format in Excel based on how another language displays dates is as follows:

  • Select the column of dates you want to convert to another locale.
  • Press Ctrl+1 to open the Format Cells
  • Select the language you want under Locale (location) and click OK to save the change.

Converting Excel dates to another locale

If you want the dates to be displayed in another language, then you will have to create a custom date format with a locale code.

Creating a custom date format in Excel

If none of the predefined Excel date formats is suitable for you, you are free to create your own.

  1. In an Excel sheet, select the cells you want to format.
  2. Press Ctrl+1 to open the Format Cells dialog.
  3. On the Number tab, select Custom from the Category list and type the date format you want in the Type box.
  4. Click OK to save the changes.

Creating a custom date format in Excel

Tip. The easiest way to set a custom date format in Excel is to start from an existing format close to what you want. To do this, click Date in the Category list first, and select one of existing formats under Type. After that click Custom and make changes to the format displayed in the Type box.

When setting up a custom date format in Excel, you can use the following codes.

Code Description Example (January 1, 2005)
m Month number without a leading zero 1
mm Month number with a leading zero 01
mmm Month name, short form Jan
mmmm Month name, full form January
mmmmm Month as the first letter J (stands for January, June and July)
d Day number without a leading zero 1
dd Day number with a leading zero 01
ddd Day of the week, short form Mon
dddd Day of the week, full form Monday
yy Year (last 2 digits) 05
yyyy Year (4 digits) 2005

When setting up a custom time format in Excel, you can use the following codes.

Code Description Displays as
h Hours without a leading zero 0-23
hh Hours with a leading zero 00-23
m Minutes without a leading zero 0-59
mm Minutes with a leading zero 00-59
s Seconds without a leading zero 0-59
ss Seconds with a leading zero 00-59
AM/PM Periods of the day
(if omitted, 24-hour time format is used)
AM or PM

To set up date and time format, include both date and time units in your format code, e.g. m/d/yyyy h:mm AM/PM. When you use "m" immediately after "hh" or "h" or immediately before "ss" or "s", Excel will display minutes, not a month.

When creating a custom date format in Excel, you can use a comma (,) dash (-), slash (/), colon (:) and other characters.

For example, the same date and time, say January 13, 2015 13:03, can be displayed in a various ways:

Format Displays as
dd-mmm-yy 13-Jan-15
mm/dd/yyyy 01/13/2015
m/dd/yy 1/13/15
dddd, m/d/yy h:mm AM/PM Tuesday, 1/13/15 1:03 PM
ddd, mmmm dd, yyyy hh:mm:ss Tue, January 13, 2015 13:03:00

How to create a custom Excel date format for another locale

If you want to display dates in another language, you have to create a custom format and prefix a date with a corresponding locale code. The locale code should be enclosed in [square brackets] and preceded with the dollar sign ($) and a dash (-). Here are a few examples:

  • [$-409] - English, Untitled States
  • [$-1009] - English, Canada
  • [$-407] - German, Germany
  • [$-807] - German, Switzerland
  • [$-804] - Bengali, India
  • [$-804] - Chinese, China
  • [$-404] - Chinese, Taiwan

You can find the full list of locale codes on this blog.

For example, this is how you set up a custom Excel date format for the Chinese locale in the year-month-day (day of the week) time format:
Creating a custom Excel date format for the Chinese locale

The following image shows a few examples of the same date formatted with different locale codes in the way traditional for the corresponding languages:
Custom date formats for different locales

Excel date format not working - fixes and solutions

Usually, Microsoft Excel understands dates very well and you are unlikely to hit any roadblock when working with them. If you happen to have an Excel date format problem, please check out the following troubleshooting tips.

A cell is not wide enough to fit an entire date

If you see a number of pound signs (#####) instead of dates in your Excel worksheet, most likely your cells are not wide enough to fit the whole dates.

Solution. Double-click the right border of the column to resize it to auto fit the dates. Alternatively, you can drag the right border to set the column width you want.

Negative numbers are formatted as dates

In all modern versions of Excel 2013, 2010 and 2007, hash marks (#####) are also displayed when a cell formatted as a date or time contains a negative value. Usually it's a result returned by some formula, but it may also happen when you type a negative value into a cell and then format that cell as a date.

If you want to display negative numbers as negative dates, two options are available to you:

Solution 1. Switch to the 1904 date system.

Go to File > Options > Advanced, scroll down to the When calculating this workbook section, select the Use 1904 date system check box, and click OK.
Switching to the 1904 date system

In this system, 0 is 1-Jan-1904; 1 is 2-Jan-1904; and -1 is displayed as a negative date -2-Jan-1904.
Negative numbers are displayed as negative dates

Of course, such representation is very unusual and takes time to get used to, but this is the right way to go if you want to perform calculations with early dates.

Solution 2. Use the Excel TEXT function.

Another possible way to display negative numbers as negative dates in Excel is using the TEXT function. For example, if you are subtracting C1 from B1 and a value in C1 is greater than in B1, you can use the following formula to output the result in the date format:

Use the Excel TEXT function to display negative numbers as dates.

You may want to change the cell alignment to right justified, and naturally, you can use any other custom date formats in the TEXT formula.

Note. Unlike the previous solution, the TEXT function returns a text value, that is why you won't be able to use the result in other calculations.

Dates are imported to Excel as text values

When you are importing data to Excel from a .csv file or some other external database, dates are often imported as text values. They may look like normal dates to you, but Excel perceives them as text and treats accordingly.

Solution. You can convert "text dates" to the date format using Excel's DATEVALUE function or Text to Columns feature. Please see the following article for full details: How to convert text to date in Excel.

This is how you format dates in Excel. In the next part of our guide, we will discuss various ways of how you can insert dates and times in your Excel worksheets. Thank you for reading and see you next week!

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584 responses to "How to change date format in Excel and create custom formatting"

  1. Marianne says:

    I need to pull out the year from text that is November, 2016 but it won't change into any kind of date format and I don't want to manually enter years for 2000+ rows

    • Doug says:

      Hello, Marianne:
      I think the easiest way to is to select the cells and use the Text-to-Columns tool in the data tab.
      It goes like this:
      Practice with one cell.
      Select the cell that holds the "November, 2016".
      Choose the Text-to-Columns tool.
      Choose the Delimited button, click next.
      Choose the Other button and enter "," in the field, click next.
      Then you'll see how Excel will separate the data, click finish.
      You can select a destination cell if you need to. Keep in mind that the cell you select will be the first cell of two cells for the separated data.
      After this you will have the year separated in a destination cell as Date.
      Go through this same procedure for as many of the cells at one time as you want - one more or one hundred more.

  2. Shyam Lal says:

    Sir, I have write a date format in excel i.e. 05.05.2016 but i want to change it automatically in 05/05/2016 with the formatting option, I have tried many times but nothing change, so please do the needful at the earliest.

    • Doug says:

      Shyam Lal:
      The easiest way to do this is to Find and Replace the "." with a "/". After you've done this Excel will recognize the entries as dates and then you can format them to be displayed in the format that suits you.
      Here's the procedure:
      Select the cells that hold the dates you want to change.
      Then click the Find and Select tool, then Replace to open the Find and Replace dialogue window
      Then enter a "." in the Find What field and a "/" in the Replace With field
      The first time you do this you should click the Find Next button then the Replace button. This way you can see what the Find and Replace procedure is doing to your data.
      When you're satisfied that Find and Replace is doing what you want you can click the Replace All button.
      When this procedure id finished, you can select the newly modified cells and click the Format Cells option and format the entries to be display in the manner you like.

    • Akhila says:

      Hi, I have entered in excel date as 3/01/2020 but it is displaying as 01/03/2020 i have tried date formats still it is not coming but, I need this date as United States format mm/dd/yyyy how can I change this help me.

  3. Walt says:


    I've got a cell formatted as date (dd mm yyyy), which is the system format. If I enter a date as 1/7/2018 or 01/07/2018, the cell displays 00 01 1900. Any other way of entering a date seems to give an error. I need to dates in date format in order to do some statistical analysis on the data as a time series. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Doug says:

      Have you tried to change the format for the cell?
      Right click on the cell, select Format Cells and then choose a date format that displays the data the way you want. You may need to try a custom format the option for this is at the bottom of that same format cells window.

    • Arif says:

      U need edit format- account-0 decimal

  4. Alyssa says:

    How would I auto-populate the lease end date in excel? I.e. lease start date: 10/01/2018 with a 48 month lease would end on 09/30/2022. I am trying to find a formula to quickly generate the end date based on the start date and the amount of months. How would I do that?

    • Doug says:

      There are three formulae you can use to accomplish what you want.
      One is =EDATE(A1,48) where the start date is in A1 and you want the date 48 months hence.
      The second is =DATE(YEAR(A1),MONTH(A1)+48,DAY(A1)) where the start date is in A1 and you want the date 48 months hence. Each of these will return 10/1/2022.
      To get the 9/30/2022 date use =DATE(YEAR(A1),MONTH(A1)+2,0)
      All of these dates are correct, but you might want to use the last formula.

  5. Ashubir Thakur says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    how can i calculate the actual hh:mm:ss from past date & time to current in excel sheet.
    Please reply me its very urgent .

    Best Regards
    Ashubir Thakur

  6. Rananditra says:


    I exported data in this format March 2, 2012. I want to change it into 02/03/2012. I have tried separating into columns, change the format using customized format etc but it still didn't work. Can you please help? Thanks so much.

    • Doug says:

      Do you mean you imported some data?
      When you right click on the cell that holds the imported data can you change it to Date format.
      I'm thinking you might have imported text that looks like a date.

  7. Stoian Florin says:

    I tried to convert automatically the date format 7/5/2018 6:57:48 PM in 5-July without succes. I mention that the cells are already completed.

    Best Regards,

  8. Liviu says:

    I have to enter the date as 20180713 but then I need to calculate the number of days between this future date and the current date (=today()). How do I do that?

  9. chandrika says:

    In the report i have two date format.



    I want to date format as 27-08-2003 please suggest how to change the date format removing (/) using formula.


  10. Doug says:

    What do you want to do with the leading digit and hyphen?

    • pratiksha says:

      In the report i have two date format.



      I want to date format as 27-08-2003 please suggest how to change the date format removing (/) using formula.


  11. mukesh says:

    thanks for help

  12. ronny says:

    I have to enter the date 7/18/19 but it will not let me change it like that and I want to keep it like that in general. please help me!!

    • Doug says:

      How is the cell currently formatted?
      Right click the cell choose Format Cells. Which one of those formatting options in the list are highlighted?
      Choose Date and then the format you want and see if that works for you.

  13. Stacey says:

    Hi Doug - I am trying to change dates from ie 01/03/2019 to show the last date of the month instead - 31/03/2019. The cell was originally done as mmm-yy. Is this possible or do I have to go and change each line individually, bearing in mind they are all different dates but need to show the last date of the month as opposed to the first date of the month. And it is a very big worksheet...
    Many thanks

  14. Mahesh Bhat says:

    How to change date from 01012001 to 01/01/2001???

    • Doug says:

      If you want to simply add "/" to the text string the formula is: =MID(F44,1,2)&"/"&MID(F44,3,2)&"/"&MID(F44,5,4) where the data is in F44.
      If the data is text or something other than a date the formula is: =DATEVALUE(MID(F44,1,2)&"/"&MID(F44,3,2)&"/"&MID(F44,5,4))

  15. Michael Calangian says:

    Hi, how can I fix this in excel, when I type a date, ex. July 26, this will appear as July 1, 2026 (1/7/2026).

    Hope you could help. Thanks!

  16. Muath Ibrahim says:

    I have the issue for format date how to change from MM/DD/YYYY to DD/MM/YYYY
    I do it via custom not successful. I don't know why not response Example :
    10/22/2016 !!
    can you help me this issue above? Because of more than 250 rows.

    Best Regards

  17. Arshad shah says:

    i want to this type of date format 12.04.2018. please help me how i can days calculate in this type of date format

  18. Doug says:

    When you go to Custom and select Date and choose DD/MM/YYYY in the Type field what does the cell display?

    • Barb says:

      Currently on my spreadsheet I have 16-07-2018 DD/MM/YYYY however what I am trying to achieve is 2018-07-16 YYYY/MM/DD? I've tried the format cells and custom but it wont change to the format I am trying to achieve. I have over 10k lines in the spreadsheet.

    • Muath Ibrahim says:

      I do it not response ...
      this example above . can you do it on excel

  19. pj says:

    In my excel sheet, I have multiple dates in the format "07/15/2018 8:00" for instance. I changed the date to a serial number and as expected I got a floating number. When I ran the =WEEKDAY function on that cell, I keep getting a return of 1/15/1900. I have tried formatting the column to short date and running that format, but I still got the same result. Please help! I can't find much on the internet about solving this problem.


  20. Sachin says:

    Dear Sir, I am finding MAXIMUM date in F Column and which is having 10000 rows, I have written code like this =MAX(F1:F10000) but is is not working where I tried with G column which is having Price but i am getting maximum price without issues, but in F columns unable to find maximum date.(Note: I think Date is written in Text format ),please provide Macros code on short.

  21. kate says:

    I'm having a problem in excel where I have downloaded a file and need to change the date format. It comes out looking like "2018-08-20T19:22:12.559Z" and I simply need it to look like "2018-08-20 19:22:12.559" The 'T' and 'Z' are inhibiting me from reading the file in R and doing what I need to do with it. I could simply change each cell, however I have over 3000 cells to change and that seems tedious.

  22. Doug says:

    If I understand your question you're asking how to remove two characters from the text string.
    I would remove them by using the SUBSTITUTE function with a nested SUBSTUTUTE formula like this:
    =SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(K17,"T",""),"Z", "")
    Where the problem string is in K17 this says to Excel substitute nothing for the "T" and nothing for the "Z".
    Now, you'll need to copy this down the column and it is only looking for "T" and "Z", but if your data has only a "T" and a "Z" to remove, this won't take a minute to copy down the column.
    You can of course substitute another letter or letters for the "T" and/or "Z" or something else for the "nothing".

  23. Kok Shong says:

    Is that a way, for the Excel 2010 to tell me directly (without having to go to Control panel and click Region and Language to check the Date and Times format or look at the bottom right corner of the PC).
    Eg, if my PC date format :MM/dd/yy , then Excel can give me the result of "MM/dd/yy"
    if my PC date format :dd-MMM-yy , then Excel will show me "dd-MMM-yy".


  24. eddie hernandez says:

    i was trying to make a cell change to the date for example if i insert "t" then the cell would automatically change the date 8/31/2018

  25. Kok Shong says:

    Hello Eddie,
    I am not quite sure what you trying to express.
    Can you explain with further details ?


  26. ashleigh says:

    I want to change format of 29/08/18 11:20:01 to 29-Aug-18 11:20:01. Any help appreciated

  27. Ali Deheshvar says:

    How can I copy numbers under conditions, in specific column in another sheets automatically?
    For example, I have a column containing various numbers in sheet1 and I want positive numbers copied in sheet2 and negative number copy to sheet3 automatically.

  28. Haja Sirajudeen says:

    70924 change to 24-09-2007 and 170924 change to 24-09-2017. Pls help

  29. Frank says:

    Hi all,

    Can someone help convert the following:

    'Mon 17/09/2018' solely into '17/09/2018'

    All I want to do is delete the text

    • Doug says:

      If the only thing you want to do is return the date then this should work for you: =MID(B59,5,10)
      Where the data is in B59. The returned data will be text.

  30. Nivz says:

    Hello All,

    Can someone help me to check days between two dates.

    thanks in advance.

  31. Doug says:

    I usually use the DATEDIF function.
    It looks like this =DATEDIF(Start Date,End Date,"D")
    Where "D" tells Excel to return the difference in days.
    The dates can be cell addresses.

  32. Abutalha says:

    I want date to be in 8-12-2018(8-Dec-2018) numeric format and hyphen instead of slash, is it possible?

    • Doug says:

      Format the cell as Custom.
      Right click the cell, select Format Cells then Custom and select the dd-mm-yy formatting from the list.

  33. Rohidas bhoir says:

    I want to change date format from 18.08.18 to 18-Aug-2018

  34. Barbara says:

    I am trying to format the date cell with 2 Sept 2018 with
    02-09-2018 But it's showing as 09-02-2018. Help

  35. Norma perez says:

    How do I change the date format. From for example 43372 to showing the exact date which is 9/30/2018. I've tried going to format calls but does not seem to work

  36. SHUBHAM MISHRA says:

    HOW CAN I CHANGE 01/01/2018 TO 01-01-2018 IN EXCEL 2007

  37. JEBIN JOSE says:

    01/10/2018 /3943 how can I change into normal date

    • Doug says:

      Not sure what you mean by normal, but you can extract the first 10 characters like this:
      Where the data is in A2 enter this in an empty cell:

  38. Saurabh Jain says:

    12-10-2018 15:12 Plz Suggest this Format Cells How am change his format cells in DD-MM-YY?

  39. Doug says:

    Hello, Saurabh:
    To change the date format right click on the cell, choose Format Cells then choose Custom then from the list choose the dd/mm/yyyy h:mm format. If your list doesn't show this particular format choose the dd/mm/yyyy format and in the field above the list which shows the formats add h:mm to it.

  40. John Cross says:

    I have to capture a lot of till slips for an account recon. I would like to enter, for example 2506 and get out 25/06/2018 or 25 Jun for example. I cannot seem to find how to do that. I tried following your examples using the RIGHT, MID and LEFT values but it wouldn't accept it even if i used it exactly as shown. I'm at a bit of a loss. Nothing on my format options works as the system is reading the input of 250618 or 2506 as a code for a particular date. Please help. Entering each slip date exactly as a date format will be tremendously laborious.

  41. Michalle says:

    I am trying to change date format from 9/13/2018 to 09/15/2018 (mm/dd/yyyy). I am using Excel 2013, Thanks for your help!

  42. Doug says:

    Right click on the cell containing the data and select Format Cells then Date, then select the 09/15/18 from the list then click OK.

  43. Ss Reddy says:

    How to convert 1999-05-05 to 05.05.1999

  44. Nizar Ali says:

    I use the "CTRL;" to quickly enter the current date and hit "SPACE" and continue to enter text to provide updates for that date in the same cell. The problem I am having is that regardless of the regional settings for the short date format (in my case 14-Mar-12), it will always use "dd-mm-yyyy" (i.e. the default date type "*") the format I want is "dd-mmm-yy". Is there a way to change the default date type format? If I don't enter any text after and exit the cell it will change the format to the desired one. If you enter any text after it will not change it and it will keep it as dd-mm-yyyy (i.e. 02-04-2018). putting the date in a separate cell is not an option.

  45. huimin says:


    i try this method and the format did change to the one i keyed in. but when i do month(), the return value is still wrong.

    06/12/2018 23:57

    format cells
    06/12/2018 23:57 as dd/mm/yyyy hh:mm

    is it due to my date values does not have any that is bigger than 12?

  46. Kate says:


    I hope you can help. Whenever I type Nov 09, under Date format, it comes out as 01/11/2009.

    I used to be able to just type in Nov 09 and it comes out as 09-Nov-18. Or Nov 26 when entered is recognized by Excel as 01/11/2026.

    Any help will be appreciated. Thank you!

  47. Ana West says:

    I was literally bitting off the end of my tail until I found this tutorial. I had trouble with Autofilling the days in date format because I did not know that excel's default dates functions with the one that is set with the computer. I followed the instructions here and changed the format to a preferred one. Thank you so much for this.


    A. West

  48. Shari Parsons says:

    My calendar created in the academic year has decided to change the year to 2019 starting back to August, which means January now is 2020. How do I correct the year in the Academic year calendar?

  49. Mangesh says:

    how i can change following "Oct 1, 2017 4:06:57 AM GMT+05:30 " in excel readable format, i cant filter the value, tried text to columns but failed.

    can you help.

  50. Eric says:

    How do I format a cell so that when I type in a date all that I have to do is type in the numbers without "/" marks? For example: Typing in "012119" should read as "01/21/19"
    Every time I try to format the cell to a date and then type in a date without the slash marks I get some way off date yet every website I type in a date does this automatically.

  51. Sadiq says:

    Sir, I have write a date format in excel i.e. 05.05.2016 but i want to change it automatically in 05/05/2016 with the formatting option, I have tried many times but nothing change, so please do the needful at the earliest.

  52. Haajira says:

    I am trying to change birthdate from yyyymmdd to mm/yyyy in Excel and need help.



    Need to update it to:


    Please help, thanks :)

  53. Kaj says:


    I have a date format of 20190119 (yyyymmdd), and I would need to change it to 19.01.2019 (, to be able to calculate the difference in days, between to days. Or any other date format, which allows to calculate the difference.

    I am preparing an AR days overdue template, and need to use columns for days overdue like 01-30 days overdue, 31-60 days overdue etc.

    Thankful for your help.

  54. emme says:

    pls help me with excel dates. I want my dates to be February 08, 2019 or 02/08/2019.
    If I type 02/08 or 02/08/19, the result will be august 02, 2019 or 08/02/2019. how could I change the setting? I want to type it as 02/08 & result should be Feb 08, 2019 or 02/08/2019.
    thank you

  55. say says:

    May 8, 2019 3:30:00 PM GMT+05:30
    how to change this format to dd-mm-yy
    I need only date \
    plz help me.

  56. Jeff says:

    Hello , I copy the date 07/03/2019 off a website and paste it into a cell with general number formatting, it pastes as 7/3/2019 and this is March 7,2019 not July 3. It also pastes into the right side of the cell and leaves a big margin to the left. Then I go to Format cell and click on text, it give me the number 43649, which is July 3 not march 7. Then if I go to format a second time and click on any other date format such as D-M-Y I get July-3-2019 and I cannot get back my original 7/3/2019 no matter what I do. Then I past 28/02/2019 and it pastes as 28/02/2019 and did not truncate the "0" in front of the two. This date format seems to be fixed, it is text and is not recognized by excel as a date at all. I can't believe excel has not fixed this problem. I am using excel 2013. Does excel ask you somewhere what your input country is ? Only USA has the month first. It really makes a mess of the sheet and I have already spent 2 hours trying to do a work around. Should not have to go to these lengths to fix this problem. I found this formula and it was working but now does not. =DATE(VALUE(RIGHT(A6,4)),VALUE(MID(A6,4,2)),VALUE(LEFT(A6,2)))

  57. Jeff Guarino says:

    my formula is working =DATE(VALUE(RIGHT(A5,4)),VALUE(MID(A5,4,2)),VALUE(LEFT(A5,2)))
    it converts the text 28/02/2019 from the adjacent cell to 28-Feb-2019 and then I can switch the formatting to text and get the date number 43524. Now I try to paste 07/03/2019 as text and it won't let me, it keeps converting it to a date. It changes it to 7/3/2019. Then the formula won't work on a date, it needs text. I also changed my country to Canadian English and it converted 7/3/2019 to 03/07/2019 and when I change to text it is 43649. I can't paste into a cell and keep it as text ? If I go back to formatt and change it back to text and manually enter 07/03/2019 and enter, the formula correctly displays 7-Mar-2019 and 43535 is the number I get if I change formatting to text which is correct. But I cannot paste into a cell without excel changing it to a date. I only want the text not the date.

  58. Jeff Guarino says:

    Here is how to get a date to paste as text. 07/03/2019, March 7, 2019 You have copied this from somewhere and want to past it into your spread sheet and get the number. When you paste it you have to paste special, then choose text. For example Cell A6. Then in the next cell you have the formula =DATE(VALUE(RIGHT(A6,4)),VALUE(MID(A6,4,2)),VALUE(LEFT(A6,2)))
    Now in this second cell will show the date, in however which format you want. open Format cell and if you pick date , you can choose the style , if you pick text you will get the date number. I found out that when you copy and paste the format is copied also which screws things up, so you must past special.

  59. Dadeloune Norelus says:

    How do I change 10/4/2002 to 10042002? Please help.

    Thank you

  60. Kenny says:

    How can I store my own date-time format so it's available in the drop down list?
    I'm constantly exporting data from SQL and have to convert it from this 47:10.7
    to this 03/08/2019 12:47:10.670.
    I'd like to have a saved date-time format as an option in the drop down.


  61. Kenny says:

    MS Excel and it's auto-date configuration.

    Anybody have a way to get around this problem?
    We have a few million rows of alphanumeric data that ranges from AAA0001 to ZZZ9999.
    When I export the data into Excel it converts some of these into dates.
    APR1899 = APR1899 <- Good
    APR1900 = Apr-00 <- Bad
    APR1901 = Apr-01 <- Bad
    AUG1899 = AUG1899 <- Good
    AUG1900 = Aug-00 <- Bad
    AUG1901 = Aug-01 <- Bad

    The work around is to format the column as text before pasting it but I'd like to STOP Excel from auto formatting as a date.
    Anybody have a way to fix this?


  62. K Naveen says:

    In excell if i enter number it is auto changing into date format, how to arrest it ?

  63. Anwar says:

    how to change the date text of a cell written March, 2019 as Mar-19

  64. Farid says:

    Can I convert 04.05.2019 to 04/05/2019 i.e. from (.) to (/) separator. Anyhelp would be appreciated.

  65. Ramon says:

    I need this format date:
    2019 111 (January, 11, 2019)
    The format yyyymmdd does not work for me
    20190111 (January, 11, 2019) It is incorrect
    My solution is
    year(SomeDate) & format(month(SomeDte),iif(month(SomeDate)<10," #","#")) & day(SomeDate)
    My question is then, is the correct way to do it?

    thank you

  66. Salman says:

    I calculated a formula for tenure and I want to custom format the tenure like this (e.g.: 05 Years, 08 Months and 15 Days).

  67. Karthikeyan says:

    Good Info

  68. anurag says:

    How to format, date from 24.03.2017 to 24/03/2017
    Its not working despite having tried the custom format options.

  69. Thujesh says:

    Hi all,
    I have a problem in my excel sheet. When i enter "time" in excel, it is coming along with date for Ex: 05-01-1900 7:12:00 AM. How can i sort out this issue. Even i try to change in custom date format, i could'nt reach to my aim. So please give me the correct answer.


  70. SBOSH says:


    How do I change 21/05/2019 to 2019/04/11 in excel 2010.

  71. sai says:

    i want to convert Mmm dd yyyy to dd/mm/yyyy format, i tried all means and i am unable to do it. can any one help me please.

    • Hi Sai,

      Try these steps:
      1. Select the cells with your dates that you want to reformat.
      2. Press Ctrl+1 to open the Format Cells dialog.
      3. On the Number tab, select Custom from the Category list and type the following format code in the Type box: dd/mm/yyyy
      4. Click OK.

      If this does not work, then most likely the original values are text, not dates. The following tutorial explains how to distinguish text-dates from normal dates and convert them to the Date format: How to convert text to date in Excel.

  72. Alejandro says:

    I need that by format put the number but show the month without formulating in another column
    I punt in custom format mmm but if I put 2 or 5 instead showing feb or may keeps showing jan.

    Hope someone know how fix it.
    Thanks in advance

  73. fazwan says:

    how to convert date like this 26.04.2007 to format like this 04/26/2007..Anyone can help me?

  74. Mohammad Hafeez says:

    I am Mohammad Hafeez how can i fill cell date of last data entry so please help.


    How to change the Date format - "mm/dd/yyyy" to "dd-mm-yyyy" ?

  76. priyanka padwal says:

    Can i change the date format from-mm/dd/yyyy to yyyy.

  77. pat says:

    I'd like the first year in a chart to read "1999" with four digits, and all the later years just as "yy" with two digits. Is that possible with a custom format?

  78. Gina says:

    I need to change date from 03/01/2019 to 03/01/2017; this change is for the whole month. How can I change the year only if there are several field to change all at once.

  79. MAK says:

    I have a date in the format below coming in excel.

    How do I convert it into 08/10/19 21:27:09 ?

  80. Ehsan Khan says:

    I tried to change the date format from 24/09/2019 into 24/09/19, I want this format to be shown in formula bar too. I tried with format cell but could not have desire result....
    kindly help....

  81. Aman kumar says:

    I am trying to enter date in excel i.e. 03/01/2019 but its 3/1/19 how to change this I also tried through format cell option but no use.

  82. Denis says:

    Does anyone know how we can changed the date format from 08/02/2019 (English Caribbean) to 02/08/2019 English (United Kingdom)?
    When changing the format for 08/02/19 it is appearing as 08 Feb 19.

  83. Alex says:

    Any ideas how to change dates like 20JUN19 into 20.06.2019 or any date format without mass replace operation? Maybe a macro with months and their ".06." counterparts in digits? There are two columns with such dates...
    Thank you

  84. kapil says:

    i want to change date to month format.pls help.

  85. Palesa says:

    Hi, I want to change date that excel is treating as text to date mm, dd, yyyy across different cells that have correct dates in between. So, 5 cells in a column are treated as text the next 3 are correct and my formula is working then the next 4 are treated as text. So on and on, I want to correct for all at once not manually. Please help

  86. atul says:

    23.12.2016 to 23/12/2016

  87. Brandi Reinert says:

    Hello, is there a way to save a custom format so that it may be accessed from all new spreadsheets? I export a file from another program each week, and create a format dddd, mmm-dd-yy and it works great, but I have to recreate dddd, mmm-dd-yy every time. Older versions of excel used to save my custom formats, but this one does not seem to do so. Excel 2010 Version 14.0.7232.5000
    Thank you.

  88. Sanoop says:

    Could you please convert the value in date format ,value is 46325635 ,date is 01.03.2019
    Please help to do by using formula

    Thank you

  89. Pradeep Pandey says:

    How to convert 10/26/2019 2:27:50 PM int DD/MM/YY format.

  90. Doreen Rusk says:

    When I sort my data by year it orders it by the months first, then day, then year, for example:
    Obviously, this isn't chronological. I would like it to order my data by year, then month, then day, then time. yyyy/mm/dd h:mm
    I typed this in the custom field and it did nothing. Is there another way to accomplish this?

  91. saurav says:

    I want to use like this 23-01-2020 but it automatically getting changed like 23/1/2020

  92. Antony says:

    My date format is like this 20200215 how can I change the date format without using TEXT TO COLUMN ( is there any formula for changing this one) Thanks

  93. Duncan Ololo says:

    My date format is 02.26.2020.0it begins with month, date then year. Help me change it to begins with date, month then year

  94. Jood says:

    In excel previous years. When I input Month and Day, and press enter, it will automatically input year today. So if input is Feb 5. It will show Feb 5, 2020.

    But now,same input, Feb 1, it takes "5" as year and gives me Feb 1,2005.
    Do you know how to change this format?


  95. steve says:

    Very helpful, thanks!

  96. Tharanya says:

    I have entered different dates in first column. Just want to set 1 year validity for all the cells in that column and if it is more than 1 year the entered date must change its color. Waiting for your reply.

  97. Chetan says:

    How can i change this Date format 1/14/2019 12:00:00 AM in excel

  98. Robin says:

    Thank you dear lady, very useful article

  99. Ashutosh says:

    How to change 9/1/2019 format to Sep-19 in excel???

  100. Akhila says:

    Hi, I have entered in excel date as 3/01/2020 but it is displaying as 01/03/2020 i have tried date formats still it is not coming but, I need this date as United States format mm/dd/yyyy how can I change this help me.

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