This tutorial will teach you a few quick and easy ways to find out how many days are between two dates in Excel.
Are you wondering how many days between two dates? Maybe, you need to know the number of days between today and some date in the past or future? Or, you just want to count working days between two dates? Whatever your problem is, one of the below examples will certainly provide a solution.
Days between dates calculator
If you are looking for a quick answer, just supply the two dates in the corresponding cells, and our online calculator will show you how many days there are from date to date:
Curious to know the formula that has calculated your dates? It's as simple as
Below you will find the detailed explanation on how this formula works and learn a few other methods to calculate days between dates in Excel.
How many days between dates calculation
The easiest way to calculate days between dates in Excel is by subtracting one date from another:
For example, to find out how many days are between dates in cells A2 and B2, you use this formula:
=B2 - A2
Where A2 is an earlier date, and B2 is a later date.
The result is an integer that represents no. of days between two dates:
How this formula works
As you probably know, Microsoft Excel stores dates as serial numbers starting on 1-Jan-1900, which is represented by the number 1. In this system, 2-Jan-1900 is stored as the number 2, 3-Jan-1900 as 3, and so on. So, when subtracting one date from another, you actually subtract the integers representing those dates.
In our example, the formula in C3, subtracts 43226 (the numeric value of 6-May-18) from 43309 (the numeric value of 28-Jul-18) and returns a result of 83 days.
The beauty of this method is that it works perfectly in all cases, no matter which date is older and which is newer. If you are subtracting a later date from an earlier date, like in row 5 in the screenshot above, the formula returns a difference as a negative number.
Calculate number of days between dates in Excel with DATEDIF
Another way to count days between dates in Excel is by using the DATEDIF function, which is specially designed to work out the date difference in various units, including days, months and years.
To get the number of days between 2 dates, you supply the start date in the first argument, end date in the second argument, and "d" unit in the last argument:
In our example, the formula goes as follows:
=DATEDIF(A2, B2, "d")
Unlike the subtraction operation, a DATEDIF formula can only subtract an older date from a newer date, but not the other way round. If the start date is later than the end date, the formula throws a #NUM! error, like in row 5 in the screenshot below:
Note. DATEDIF is an undocumented function, meaning it is not present in the list of functions in Excel. To build a DATEDIF formula in your worksheet, you will have to type all the arguments manually.
Count days between dates with Excel DAYS function
The users of Excel 2013 and Excel 2016 have one more amazingly simple way to calculate days between two dates - the DAYS function.
Please pay attention that compared to DATEDIF, a DAYS formula requires the arguments in the reverse order:
So, our formula takes the following shape:
Like subtraction, it returns the difference as a positive or negative number, depending on whether the end date is greater or smaller than the start date:
How to calculate number of days between today and another date
In fact, calculating the number of days from or before a certain date is a particular case of "how many days between dates" math. For this, you can use any of the formulas discussed above and supply the TODAY function instead of one of the dates.
To calculate the number of days since date, i.e. between a past date and today:
To count the number of days until date, i.e. between a future date and today:
As an example, let's calculate the difference between today and an earlier date in A4:
=TODAY() - A4
And now, let's find out how many days are between today and a later date:
How to calculate working days between two dates in Excel
In situations when you need to get the number of days between two dates without weekends, use the NETWORKDAYS function:
The first two arguments should already look familiar to you, and the third (optional) argument allows excluding a custom list of holidays from the day count.
To find out how many working days are between two dates in columns A and B, use this formula:
Optionally, you can enter your holiday list in some cells and tell the formula to leave out those days:
=NETWORKDAYS(A2, B2, $A$9:$A$10)
As the result, only business days between two dates are counted:
Tip. In case you need to handle custom weekends (e.g. weekends are Sunday and Monday or Sunday only), use the NETWORKDAYS.INTL function, which allows you to specify what days of the week should be considered weekends.
Find number of days between two dates with Date & Time Wizard
As you see, Microsoft Excel provides a handful of different ways to count days between dates. If you are not sure which formula to use, let our Date & Time Wizard do the how-many-days-between-two-dates calculation for you. Here's how:
- Select the cell in which you want to insert the formula.
- On the Ablebits Tools tab, in the Date & Time group, click Date & Time Wizard:
- In the Date & Time Wizard dialog window, switch to the Difference tab and do the following:
- In the Date 1 box, enter the first date (start date) or a reference to the cell containing it.
- In the Date 2 box, enter the second date (end date).
- In the Difference in box, select D.
The wizard immediately shows a formula preview in the cell and the result in the Difference in box.
- Click the Insert formula button and have the formula inserted in the selected cell. Done!
A double-click on the fill handle, and the formula gets copied across the column:
To display the date difference in a slightly different way, you are free to choose any of the additional options:
- Show text labels - the word "days" will appear along with the number, like shown in the screenshot below.
- Do not show zero units - if the date difference is 0 days, an empty string (blank cell) will be returned.
- Negative result if Date 1 > Date 2 - the formula will return a negative number is the start date is later than the end date.
The screenshot below shows a couple of additional options in action:
This is how you calculate the number of days between dates in Excel. If you'd like to test our Date & Time Formula Wizard in your worksheets, you are welcome to download 14-day trial version of Ultimate Suite, which includes this as well as 70+ other time-saving tools for Excel.
How Many Days Between Dates - examples (.xlsx file)