Now, that we've learnt how to enter dates and time to your spreadsheet, it's time to talk about the ways of calculating time in Google Sheets. We'll discuss the ways of finding time difference in detail, see how to sum dates and time together, and learn to display only date or time units and set them apart completely.
When you're working on some projects, it is usually important to control how much time you spend. This is called elapsed time. Google Sheets can help you calculate the time difference in a lot of various ways.
If you have your start time and end time, it's not a problem to find out the time spent:
Let's assume the start time is in column A and the end time is in column B. With a simple subtraction formula in C2, you will find how much time this or that task took:
=B2-A2
The time is formatted as "hh:mm" by default.
To get the results as hours only or as hours, minutes, and seconds, you need to apply a custom format with the corresponding time codes: h and hh:mm:ss. Google even offers a special number format for cases like this - Duration:
Another trick to calculate the time duration in Google Sheets involves the TEXT function:
=TEXT(B2-A2,"h")
- for hours
=TEXT(B2-A2,"h:mm")
- for hours and minutes
=TEXT(B2-A2,"h:mm:ss")
- for hours, minutes, and seconds
You can track the time spent and get the result in one time unit disregarding other units. For example, count the number of only hours, only minutes, or only seconds.
To get the number of hours spent, subtract your start time from the end time and multiply the result by 24 (since there are 24 hours in one day):
You will get a time difference as a decimal:
If the start time is greater than the end time, the formula will return a negative number, like in C5 in my example.
To count minutes, substitute the start time from the end time and multiply whatever you get by 1,440 (since there are 1,440 minutes in one day):
To find out how many seconds passed between two times, the drill is the same: substitute the start time from the end time and multiply the result by 86,400 (the number of seconds in a day):
As always, Google Sheets equips you with three particularly useful functions for this purpose.
=HOUR(B2-A2)
- to return hours only (without minutes and seconds)=MINUTE(B2-A2)
- to return minutes only (without hours and seconds)=SECOND(B2-A2)
- to return seconds only (without hours and minutes)These operations can also be achieved with two techniques: one involves basic math calculations, another - functions. While the first way always works, the second one with functions works only when you add or subtract units less than 24 hours, or 60 minutes, or 60 seconds.
Add less than 24 hours:
Here's how the formula looks on real data:
=A2+TIME(3,0,0)
Add more than 24 hours:
To add 27 hours to the time in A2, I use this formula:
=A2+(27/24)
=A2-TIME(3,0,0)
- to subtract 3 hours
=A2-(27/24)
- to subtract 27 hours
The principle of manipulating minutes is the same as with the hours.
There's the TIME function that adds and subtracts up to 60 minutes:
If you are to add 40 minutes, you can do it like this:
=A2+TIME(0,40,0)
If you are to subtract 20 minutes, here's the formula to use:
=A2-TIME(0,40,0)
And there's a formula based on simple arithmetic to add and subtract over 60 minutes:
Thus, here's how you add 120 minutes:
=A2+(120/1440)
Put the minus instead of plus to subtract 120 minutes:
=A2-(120/1440)
Seconds in Google Sheets are calculated in the same manner as hours and minutes.
You can use the TIME function to add or subtract up to 60 seconds:
For example, add 30 seconds:
=A2+TIME(0,0,30)
Or substitute 30 seconds:
=A2-TIME(0,0,30)
To calculate over 60 seconds, use simple maths:
Add 700 seconds:
=A2+(700/86400)
Or substitute 700 seconds:
=A2-(700/86400)
To find the total time in your table in Google Sheets, you can use the SUM function. The trick here is to choose the correct format to display the result.
By default, the result will be formatted as Duration - hh:mm:ss
But most often the default time or duration format won't be enough, and you will need to come up with your own one.
A7:A9 cells contain the same time value. They are just displayed differently. And you can actually perform calculations with them: subtract, sum, convert to decimal, etc.
Let's imagine that one cell in Google Sheets contains both, date and time. You want to set them apart: extract only the date to one cell and only time to another.
In order to display date or time in one cell on your screen or to print it, just select the original cell, go to Format > Number and choose Date or Time.
However, if you'd like to use these values for future calculations (subtract, sum, etc.), this won't be enough. If you don't see the time unit in a cell, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's absent, and vice versa.
So what do you do?
Google stores dates and time as numbers. For example, it sees the date 8/24/2017 11:40:03 as the number 42971,4861458. The integer part represents the date, the fractional - time. So, your task is down to separating integer from fractional.
=ROUNDDOWN(A2,0)
The formula rounds the value down and casts the fractional part away.
=A2=B2
These are the ways to not only display date or time, but to separate them to different cells. And you can perform various calculations with these records now.
I hope these examples will help you solve your tasks when working with dates and time in Google Sheets.
25 Responses to "Calculating time in Google Sheets: subtract, sum and extract date and time units"
Thank you! This just saved me so much time!
Get it? Time? Like this article?
Seeya guys, gonna off myself.
HI, When the "duration, h" column is added to get a total hours the formula SUM(E3:E100) returns less than 24 hours. It restarts the summation each time it hits 24 hours. So if the total hours worked is 53 hours and 45 minutes, the return is 5:45 which is incorrect. How can I correct that?
G:
How is the cell duration h formatted?
The issue may be one of formatting the cell the way you want it to display.
Hey!
Thanks for a super interesting topic. I'm trying to build a countdown displaying Days, Hours and Minutes and yours is the only subject I can find on the matter.
Though I have some major problems getting it to work correctly and was wondering: Would you mind sharing your Sheet for us slow people to have a poke at?
Thanks in advance and thanks for a super post!
//Ola
Hi, I'm trying to sort out how to sum time for a time trial event on a racing game. There are several weeks being added together for a total combined time of all events. The issue I'm having is Sheets is rounding the time up. I need it to show exact times, so if a lap time is 1 minute 33 seconds and .742 so, 0:01:33.742, I need it to show that time in the cell, and to represent that time in the total time cell, which I've used the sum function for. Drivers' times are often too close for them to be rounded up.
Any help appreciated! Thanks!
Dave:
Have you tried to use this in the Custom section of the Format Cells? mm:ss.000
Looking to set a series of times based upon a single "operator entered START time" and about 10 subsequent times where I know the number of minutes between each step.
It would be quite possible these would go over midnight to the next day.
Example: Start time = 11:00 AM
Step 1 [15 min] = 11:15 AM
Step 2 [20 min] = 11:35 AM
Step 3 [4 hours] = 3:35 PM
Thanks!
I'm looking for the same!
I'd like input the event start time and have it populate the cells with a list of times other coordinated events will be happening
Hi thank you for the above time calculation.
There is one more help I need about the above formula. Is there a way to know the time spent on a particular task submitted per employee.
Example : An employee used google form to submit a completed task. That showed 8/10/2018 6:30:00 timestamp, then claimed a new task which ended at 8/10/2018 7:15:00, then claimed another task which ended at 8/10/2018 7:35:00. Employees let’s say are required to complete 3 task per hour. In a situation where by one has more than hundreds of people using the form to submit their task completion per hour in one google tracker . What is the easiest way to calculate the hr spent by each employee and the completed task per hour. 2 is there a way to add a formula on a separate column that auto calculate hours spent by each employee when 3task is completed. ? The logic here is I would like to know the most product employee in an hour thanks.
Halima’s slept at 2200h if she woke up at 0600h for how long had she slept.
Hi
These are probably dumb questions but here goes....
How would I calculate time elapsed by days on a project I'm tracking.
Ex: Task 1 is supposed to start 1/23/18 but it did not start until 1/26/18
I also am using conditional formatting in a status column.
Is it possible to just have Task column, Start date column, Days Delayed column and Status column.
Hi Lauren,
You can calculate the time difference between dates and have it returned in days:
=DATEDIF(A2,B2,"D")
As for your second question, could you please specify what you mean in detail?
Hi,
I'm trying to create a sheet for hours worked with start and stop times. They way we usually calculate it, we enter the hours worked first, and have to add in the start and stop times later. If the employees always start and take lunch at the same time, how could I make a formula that will auto-populate the start and stop times for the amount of hours worked for a given day?
Ex: Start Stop Start Stop Hours
7:30 AM 12:00 PM 12:30 PM 4:30 PM 8
I would like to just be able to enter in "8" in the hours column, and have the start & stop times be calculated using a formula. Thank you!
I noticed that when changing Duration to hours, day, etc... the Hours are always one day off. I notice this on your and on mine as well. Example: above you had 81:01:40 and it displayed 2 days, 1 hour, 40 minutes. It should be 3 days, 1 hour, 40 minutes.
Any idea why it automatically drops a day off?
thanks
Hi Robert,
Thank you for pointing that out.
We'll update this article with more correct calculations soon.
Newbie here! This is the formula I am using in a Google sheet to determine the time elapsed between opening a job ticket and completion. How do I make it account for work days? It's currently adding 2 days for jobs started Friday but completed on Monday.
=CONCATENATE(TEXT(FLOOR(L753-F753,1),"@")," Days",TEXT(L753-F753," h:mm"))
Hi Patty,
We've added NETWORKDAYS to your formula - this function is used to count the number of working days between two dates. As a result, we've got this:
=CONCATENATE(TEXT(NETWORKDAYS(F753,L753)-1,"@"),if((NETWORKDAYS(F753,L753)-1)=1," Day"," Days"),TEXT(L753-F753," h:mm"))
How to calculate time only between working hours
Example employee started a task 2019-05-23 13:00 and finished 2019-05-28 10:00 it says 117hours but we are only open from 9 to 6 monday to friday is there way to only calculated hours between those time ?
Thanks !
Cedrik,
Let's assume your data looks the following way:
Where the opening time is in B1, closing time - in B2, the start task time is in B5, end task time in C5.
Here's the formula that should work:
=(NETWORKDAYS(B5,C5)-2)*(B2-B1)+(B2-MOD(B5,1))+(MOD(C5,1)-B1)
Is there a way to calculate the elapsed time for 2 different dates and times with a format of hours and minutes (hh:mm)?
Katrina,
Fist, subtract the start time from the end time. Then, select the results and go to Format > Number > More formats > More date and time formats. Set and apply the following:
Elapsed hours:Minute
Hope this helps.
I'm trying to find a formula that converts duration in hr:min:sec format (e.g. 00:04:15) to total seconds in number format (255).
Any help greatly appreciated.
Hello Peter,
Please try the following:
=HOUR(A1)*3600+MINUTE(A1)*60+SECOND(A1)
Hi there!
Thank you so much for this helpful information.
Is it possible to calculate a sum of the total time formulas?
e.g.: (=TEXT($F3-$E3,"hh:mm")) + (=TEXT($F4-$E4,"hh:mm")) = (=SUM(G3:G33))
I have been trying the above to reach a sum but to no avail.
Thank you!
Lauren