# How to Subtract Dates in Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel, renowned for its extensive data manipulation capabilities, offers a vital function in date subtraction, essential in scenarios like tracking timelines and calculating age. This article serves as a practical guide, illustrating the process of subtracting dates in Excel with step-by-step instructions.

## How to Subtract Dates in Microsoft Excel

Subtracting dates in Microsoft Excel is a key function for anyone dealing with time-sensitive data. This capability allows users to calculate the duration between two dates, which is crucial in fields like project management, finance, and human resources. Mastering date subtraction in Excel offers a clear understanding of time intervals, aiding in more precise and informed decision-making.

### Basic Date Subtraction in Excel

Subtracting dates in Excel is straightforward. For example, if you have a start date in cell A1 (15/01/2020) and an end date in cell B1 (20/01/2020), use the formula “=B1-A1” to find the number of days between them. If Excel shows the result as a date, change the cell format to “Number” to see the days.

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### Using the DATEDIF Function for Detailed Calculations

For more specific calculations like months or years between dates, use the DATEDIF function. The formula is “DATEDIF(start_date, end_date, unit)”, where “unit” is “D” for days, “M” for months, or “Y” for years. For example, “=DATEDIF(A1, B1, “M”)” calculates the complete months between two dates. This function offers precise time calculations for various needs.

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## FAQs

### How do I subtract two dates to find the number of days between them in Excel?

Use the formula “=End_Date – Start_Date” in a cell to get the number of days.

### Can Excel show the result of date subtraction in months or years?

Yes, use the DATEDIF function with “M” for months or “Y” for years as the unit.

### Why does Excel show a date instead of a number when subtracting dates?

Excel defaults to date format; change the cell format to “Number” to see days.

### Is it possible to exclude weekends when subtracting dates in Excel?

Yes, use the NETWORKDAYS function to exclude weekends in date subtraction.

### Can I calculate the age of a person using date subtraction in Excel?

Yes, use “DATEDIF(birth_date, current_date, “Y”)” to calculate age in years.