Calculate Elapsed Time Between Two Dates in Excel (5 Methods)

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Dates and Times in Excel are considered integer and fractional numbers respectively. We can calculate the elapsed time between two dates in Excel. There are a few ways to easily do that. This article shows how to calculate the elapsed time between two dates in Excel in 5 different ways. These methods may also help to calculate the time differences between two times in Excel. The following figure highlights the purpose of this article.

Calculate Elapsed Time Between Two Dates


How to Calculate Elapsed Time Between Two Dates in Excel: 5 Ways

We will use two ranges of full dates and times as our dataset to illustrate the methods. So, let’s find out what those methods are and how they even work.


1. Calculate the Elapsed Time Between Two Dates by Subtraction

In this method, we are going to use the subtraction operator (). Follow the steps below to see how it works.

📌Steps

  • First, enter the following formula in cell D5:
=C5-B5
  • Then use the Fill Handle tool to apply the formula to the cells below.

  • The integer parts represent the number of days between the dates. And the fractions account for the time differences between the dates.
  • You can change the number format to get the actual duration.
  • To do so, first select the entire range of Elapsed Time.

  • Then click on the small icon for Number Format as shown in the following picture. You will find it in the Home tab.

  • A new dialog box will open. Choose the desired time format as follows and then hit OK.

  • As a result, the elapsed time will change to the h:mm:ss format as follows.

  • In the case of dates only, you will get the elapsed time in the form of the total number of days between those dates.

Calculate Elapsed Time Between Two Dates in Excel by Subtraction

Read More: How to Calculate Hours Between Two Times in Excel


2. Calculate Elapsed Time Between Two Dates by DAYS Function

Using the DAYS function in Excel can be an alternative to the earlier method. Follow the steps below to apply it here.

📌Steps

  • First, apply the following formula in cell D5:
=DAYS(C5,B5)
  • Then, you will find the total number of elapsed days between the dates as shown below.

Calculate Elapsed Time Between Two Dates by the DAYS Function

  • You must enter a later date in the first argument. Otherwise, you will see a negative sign before the numbers.

Related Content: How to Calculate Elapsed Time in Excel


3. Estimate Elapsed Time Between Two Dates by DATEDIF Function

You will not find the DATEDIF function in the list of formulas in Excel. Yet, you can apply it in Excel. We can easily calculate the elapsed time between two dates using this function. It also allows us to get the results in different formats. Let’s follow the steps to take advantage of this function to calculate the elapsed time between dates.

📌Steps

Elapsed Days:

  • Apply the following formula in cell D5:
=DATEDIF(B5,C5,"d")
  • You will get the number of days as in the earlier methods.

Elapsed Weeks:

  • To get the number of weeks instead, change the formula in cell D5 to the following one.
=DATEDIF(B5,C5,"d")/7
  • Then, change the formatting to Number and copy the formula down.

Elapsed Months:

  • After that, enter the following formula in cell D5 to get the elapsed months between those dates.
=DATEDIF(B5,C5,"m")

Elapsed Years:

  • Next, apply the following formula in cell D5 for the elapsed years between those dates.
=DATEDIF(B5,C5,"y")

Difference in Days/Months only:

  • Using the following formulas will only show the difference between days ignoring month and year, months ignoring year, and days ignoring year respectively.
=DATEDIF(B5,C5,"md")

=DATEDIF(B5,C5,"ym")

=DATEDIF(B5,C5,"yd")

Elapsed Days, Months & Years Altogether:

  • First, remove the times from the dates for a concise output. Otherwise, keep it as it is.
  • Now, enter the following formula in cell D5 to get the elapsed time in a more organized format to understand.
=DATEDIF(B5,C5,"y")&" years, " &DATEDIF(B5,C5,"ym")&" months, " &DATEDIF(B5,C5,"md")&" days"

DATEDIF Function to Calculate Elapsed Time Between Two Dates in Excel

Read More: Excel Calculate Hours Between Two Times After Midnight


4. Calculate Elapsed Time Between Two Dates by INT Function

The INT function rounds up numbers in Excel. We can use this function to get the elapsed time between dates. Follow the steps below to apply this method.

📌Steps

Elapsed Days Only:

  • Simply enter the following formula in cell D5:
=INT(C5-B5)
  • You will get the number of elapsed days between the dates rounded up as follows.

Elapsed Days & Duration:

  • With the help of the TEXT function, you can change the formatting of the elapsed time.
  • For that, apply the following formula instead in cell D5:
=INT(C5-B5)&" days, "&TEXT(C5-B5,"h"" hours, ""m"" minutes, ""s"" seconds""")
  • Then, you will get the elapsed time as shown below.

Calculate the Elapsed Time Between Two Dates in Excel by the INT Function

Read More: How to Calculate Hours and Minutes in Excel


5. Estimate Total Working Days Between Two Dates in Excel

Excel has an inbuilt function called the NETWORKDAYS function to calculate the total working days between two dates. You can also do that easily by following the steps below.

📌Steps

  • First, enter the following formula in cell D5:
=NETWORKDAYS(B5,C5)
  • This will give the total working days between those dates as follows.

  • You can use custom holidays in the arguments of this function. Alternatively, you can use the NETWORKDAYS.INTL function to calculate the total working days between two dates with custom holiday parameters.
  • Just apply the following formula in cell D5:
=NETWORKDAYS(B5,C5,$C$13:$D$13)
  • Finally, the custom holidays are no longer included in the number of total workdays.

The NETWORKDAYS Function to Calculate Elapsed Time Between Two Dates in Excel


Things to Remember

  • Entering the start date as the first argument works best in the DATEDIF function.
  • Microsoft doesn’t recommend the DATEDIF “md” argument as it may give inaccurate results.

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Conclusion

Now you know how to calculate the elapsed time between two dates in 5 different ways. Please use the comment section below for further queries or suggestions. You may visit our site to learn more about Excel and improve your performance.


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Md. Shamim Reza
Md. Shamim Reza

Md. Shamim Reza, a marine engineer with expertise in Excel and a fervent interest in VBA programming, sees programming as a time-saving tool for data manipulation, file handling, and internet interaction. His diverse skill set encompasses Rhino3D, Maxsurf C++, AutoCAD, Deep Neural Networks, and Machine Learning. He holds a B.Sc in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering from BUET and has transitioned into a content developer role, generating technical content focused on Excel and VBA. Beyond his professional pursuits,... Read Full Bio

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