In this article, we’ll discuss different methods to calculate elapsed time in Excel. In our daily calculations, finding out the time interval between two dates is a common scenario. To calculate the elapsed time, we can use functions, conditions, and even custom formatting in Excel. Let’s follow the complete guide to learn all of this.

**How to Calculate Elapsed Time in Excel: 8 Easy Ways**

**1. ****Calculate Elapsed Time in Excel by Subtracting Two Date Values**

To find the **elapsed time** in Excel, we just need to **subtract two cells **that **contain **the **start **and **end **date. In this example, we’re going to calculate the **elapsed time **of **World War 2.** Here, cells **B3** and **C3** contain the **starting **and **ending date **of the war** with time. **In cell **C5**, we **subtracted** cell **B3** from cell **C3.**

** **The **subtraction **returned a **number **that is not meaningful. Actually, it represents the **difference **in **serial numbers** of these **two dates**. As we know, Excel **stores **date as a **serial number **that **starts **from** 1** at the date** 1/1/1900**. So, this **output number **means there was a **total **of **2077.43 days elapsed **in **WW2**.

Now, we can calculate, **Years **by **dividing **the number of days(**output**) by **365,**

**Months**by

**dividing**the number of days (

**output**) by

**30,**

**Weeks**by

**dividing**the number of days (

**output**) by

**7,**

**Hours**by

**multiplying**the number of days (

**output**) with

**24**

**Minutes**by

**multiplying**the number of days (

**output**) with

**24*60,**

**Seconds**by

**multiplying**the number of days (

**output**) with

**24*60*60.**

**Read More: Calculate Elapsed Time Between Two Dates in Excel**

**2. ****Estimating Elapsed Time in Excel Using the TODAY, NOW, NETWORKDAYS Functions**

Using Excel’s **built-in functions** like the **NOW, TODAY, NETWORKDAYS,** etc. we can easily compute elapsed time in Excel. To illustrate this, we’re going to calculate how many **years**, **months, days, hours, minutes**, and **seconds** are left to **start** the next **Summer Olympic 2024.**

**2.1 Use of the TODAY Function**

The **TODAY function** in Excel returns the **current date** **displayed** on the worksheet. Here in cell **C3**, we **stored** the **starting date** of summer Olympic 2024. In cell **C4,** we used the following **formula** to find the **number of days left** to **start** **Olympic 2024** from **today’s date.**

`=(C3-TODAY())`

We **calculated **the **number of months **and **weeks **by **dividing **the **days’ number **by **30 **and **7 respectively **in** cells C5 **and **C6**. To find out the **no of years left**, we used the **YEAR function** in **cell D6.** The formula is:

`=(YEAR(C3)-YEAR(TODAY()))`

**2.2 Use of the NOW Function**

The** NOW function** returns the** current date and time **displayed in the Excel **worksheet**. In this example, we used this function to calculate **hours, minutes**, and **seconds** **left** to **begin **the **Summer Olympic 2024.**

**2.3 Use of the NETWOKDAYS Function**

The **NETWORKDAYS function** calculates the **number of working days** of a given **time interval** assuming **5 working days** in a **week** **starting** on **Monday. **

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**3. ****Compute Elapsed Time Using the TEXT Function in Excel**

**The TEXT function** in Excel converts a **numeric value **to **text **and **displays **it in a **specific predefined format.** The function takes **two arguments**: **value **and **format_text. **

In this example, we put the **difference between the ending and starting dates** of WW2 as the **value** argument and **different formats** to display the **duration** of the war in **years, months, days, hours, minutes,** and **seconds. **Here, cells **C5** and **B5** contain the **ending** and **starting** dates respectively.

**Read More: How to Calculate Slack Time in Excel**

**4. ****Use of Custom Formatting to Calculate Elapsed Time in Excel**

Excel also gives us the option to use different number formats to control how to display a value in a cell. Let’s follow the example to grab the idea.

In cell** C7,** we calculated the **difference **between** two dates** in cells **C5** and** B5**, which are the **ending and starting dates** of WW2. The output is the serial number difference of the input dates.

To show the year difference of these two dates, follow the steps below:

**Steps:**

**Select**cell**C7**and press**Ctrl + 1**to open the**Format Cells**- Go to the
**Number** **Select**the**Custom**- Type
**yy**in the**input box.** - Hit
**OK.**

- The output is the number of years elapsed in world war 2.

Similarly, we can **calculate **the other values using the **different format codes **shown in the below **screenshot.**

**Read More: How to Calculate Percentage of Time in Excel**

**5. ****Handle Negative Values in Elapsed Time**

If the end time is less than the start time, we cannot subtract normally to get the time difference. To handle this negative time, we can follow two ways.

**5.1 Use of Conditional IF Statement**

Apply the following formula in cell D4, where C4 contains the end time and B4 contains the start time.

`=IF(C4<B4,1+C4-B4,C4-B4)`

In this formula, we used the **conditional IF statement** to set the **logic **of whether the **end time** is **less **than the **start time**. If the **logic **returns **TRUE**, then it’ll **add 1** with the time **difference **of two times **assuming **the **clock running **for a** full 24 hour period. **

**5.2 Use of the MOD Function **

The use of the** MOD function** can easily handle the above situation. The function **changes** the **negative** number **to** a **positive** one as it works for both the **time** in the **same day** and the **time** that **spans midnight**. We just need to **use 1 **as the **divisor (2nd argument). **

**Read More: How to Calculate Hours and Minutes for Payroll Excel**

**Things to Remember**

- The
**NETWORKDAYS function**excludes**Saturday**and**Sunday**from a**week**while calculating the**workdays**between two dates. - If we want to add a
**custom holiday list**to calculate the working days between two dates, we need to use the**INTL function.**

**Download Practice Workbook**

Download this practice workbook to exercise while you are reading this article.

**Conclusion**

Now, we know how to **calculate elapsed **time in **Excel **using **8 easy examples.** Hopefully, it would you to use these features more confidently. Any questions or suggestions don’t forget to put them in the comment box below.

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