How to Auto Update Current Time in Excel (3 Easy Ways)

Today I’ll show you how you can auto-update the current time in a cell in Excel. While working in Excel, we often have to enter the current date and time in a cell for various purposes and auto-update them. This allows users to do their works with punctuality and also keep the sheet updated in sense of time.

How to Auto Update Current Time in Excel: 3 Methods

Here we’ve got a workbook where we need to enter the current time in cell C4. Our objective is to enter the current time in such a way that it updates automatically.

excel current time auto update

1. Using NOW Function 

You can use the NOW function of Excel to auto-update the current time in Excel. This allows users to get the latest time with date. However, the time is static and does no update unless one writes the function again.


  • To begin with, select the C4 cell and enter this formula:
  • Then, press Enter.
  • As a result, it will enter the current time on the cell taken from your computer.

 using now function to auto update current time in excel

Each time you make any change in your workbook, the formula will recalculate automatically and update the current time.


If you want to change the format of the time, select the cell and go to the Home > More Number Formats tool under the section called Numbers. Then, change the format accordingly.

Read More: How to Insert Current Date and Time in Excel

2. Applying VBA Code

The NOW function described above does work, but each time you need to auto-update the time, you have to make any change in your worksheet. You can use a VBA code instead that will auto-update the current time every second. You won’t have to do anything.


  • Press ALT+F11 on your keyboard. The VBA window will open from the Developer tab.

applying vba code to auto update current time in excel

  •  Go to the Insert tab in the VBA window. 
  • From the options available, select Module.

inserting module to auto update current time in excel

  • A new module window called “Module 1” will open. 
  • Insert the following VBA code in the module and save it by pressing Ctrl+S.


Dim SchedRecalc As Date
Sub Recalc()
With Sheet1.Range("C3")
.Value = Format(Time, "hh:mm:ss AM/PM")
End With
Call SetTime
End Sub
Sub SetTime()
SchedRecalc = Now + TimeValue("00:00:01")
Application.OnTime SchedRecalc, "Recalc"
End Sub
Sub Disable()
On Error Resume Next
Application.OnTime EarliestTime:=SchedRecalc, Procedure:="Recalc", Schedule:=False
End Sub


  • Here in the 3rd line, C4 is the cell reference where I want the current time. You use your required one.
  • Return to your worksheet and press ALT+F8 on your keyboard.
  • A dialogue box called Macro will open. Select SetTime and click on Run.

running macro to auto update current time in excel

  • Consequently, you will find the current time being entered in your desired cell and updating every second, just like a running clock.

  • Now, if you want to stop the clock, again press ALT+F8.
  • Next, select Disable.
  • Then, click Run.

Stopping Auto Updated Current Time in Excel

  • As a result, the clock will stop running.

Thus, we will get a dynamic clock showing the updated time.

Read More: Excel Current Time Formula

3. Utilizing Keyboard Function

In this final method, we will use a keyboard shortcut to get the updated time in Excel. This is the quickest way to get the latest time.


  • At the start, choose the C4 cell and press Ctrl+Shift+:.
  • As a result, the latest time from your computer will be in the C4 cell.

Download Practice Workbook


In this article, we have talked about 3 methods to perform current time auto update in Excel. Using these methods, you can auto-update the current time in Excel. Do you know any other method? Or do you have any questions? Feel free to ask us.

Related Articles

<< Go Back to Timestamp | Date-Time in Excel | Learn Excel

Get FREE Advanced Excel Exercises with Solutions!
Rifat Hassan
Rifat Hassan

Rifat Hassan, BSc, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, has worked with the ExcelDemy project for almost 2 years. Within these 2 years, he has written over 250 articles. He has also conducted a few Boot Camp sessions on effective coding, especially Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). Currently, he is working as a Software Developer to develop and deploy additional add-ins to enhance the customers with a more sophisticated experience with Microsoft Office Suits,... Read Full Bio

  1. Hello Rifat
    I’m trying to use the Now function to update a cell’s time.
    Exactly like your post.
    I’m using an old version of excel.
    When I open your file everything works.
    I tried inserting the macros into a file and just nothing else works anymore…
    I must be making some very stupid mistake but I confess I can’t understand… Could you check the file? I just think I can’t attach it here… Right? Could I email you? Thank you!

    • Hi GVS,
      This is Mrinmoy. I’m replying to you on behalf of Mr. Rifat. Currently, he has been shifted to another project. If you don’t mind, you can send your file to my email address at [email protected]. I will try to help you as much as possible.

Leave a reply

Advanced Excel Exercises with Solutions PDF