How to Convert Numbers to Dates in Excel

Updated on February 21, 2017

Messed up Dates or Numbers in Excel

Usually, two cases apply when you want to turn numbers to dates in Microsoft Excel:

  1. When the number is in a serial format. This usually happens when you copy dates and paste values or paste dates into cells with a number format.
  2. When the slashes or dashes in the dates are gone. For example, 10062005 instead of 10/06/2005. This occurs when you import data from .csv files or files from an external system.

In this article, you will learn the procedure on how to deal with these number-to-date troubles in Excel.

Convert an Excel Serial Number to Date in a Single Step

Here, you'll learn how to convert a serial number to a date by applying the date format.

  • Press CTRL + 1 to launch the format cells dialog;
  • Then, select the date category and assign the format Type. (Excel 2007 ribbons allow you to do it faster).

You can see below that the serial number 39,938 turns to the date very easily, as 05/05/2009. To paraphrase: the serial number 39,938 is Tuesday, 5 May 2009.

Why Are Serial Numbers Dates in Excel?

Excel manages dates as serial numbers.

What does this mean?

  • Imagine a line number, from 1 to 2,958,465, where integer 1 is January 01 1900 and integer 2,958,465 is December 31 9999. This serial number system (1 to 2,958,465) is referred as Excel Date-Time Code.

Note: Avoid the following message: "negative dates or times are displayed as ############." Never apply the date format to a number outside the Excel serial number range.

Convert Numbers to Dates when the Year, Month, and Day are Together in a Cell

How do you turn 150204 into 15/02/2004?

  • Use the Function DATE(year, month, day)
  • Extract each part from 160208 with these string functions: RIGHT, LEFT and MID as shown here: =DATE(RIGHT(A1,2);MID(A1,3,2);LEFT(A1,2))

Note: Use the functions according if and when the order changes. For example: year-month-day, month-year-day, and so forth.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • profile image

        Bimal shrestha 

        8 months ago

        how to make a change date in excel?

      • profile image

        XP 

        6 years ago

        very helpful! thanks!

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, turbofuture.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://turbofuture.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)