Count Numbers of Days Between Two Dates in Excel (2024)

August 4, 2023 1.3K views

Unlock Excel's potential as a data powerhouse with its multitude of functions for rapid calculations and charting. Navigate through complex formulas and data to resolve conflicts and achieve seamless information sorting. Wondering how to count days between dates? Look no further. This article presents effective methods and suggests the perfect software solution for optimal data management.

Part 1. What is the DAYS function in Excel?

The DAYS function in Excel is a built-in feature that allows users to calculate the number of days between two dates. Its formula is:

=DAYS(end_date, start_date)

Excel requires both parameters to be entered, with the end date showing as the first argument and the start date appearing as the second.

Importance of Learning Days Function in Excel

Learning how to use the Excel DAYS function is essential for professionals as it enables efficient organization of spreadsheets

  • Track contract duration for clients: DAYS function calculates days since contract signing.

  • Identify expired contracts and prompt renewals: DAYS function compares current date with end dates.

  • Calculate employee tenure for benefit eligibility: DAYS function determines employee work duration.

  • Streamline data analysis and decision-making: DAYS function simplifies date-related calculations.

  • Valuable tool for professionals in various fields: DAYS function is versatile and beneficial across industries.

Part 2. How to Count the Number of Days Between Two Dates in Excel?

Calculating the number of days between two dates in Excel is a common task for data analysis and time-based projects. Here are three ways to accomplish this:

Example 1. Subtraction

One straightforward approach is to subtract the start date from the end date using a simple subtraction formula. This method is intuitive and easy to use for quick calculations.

Step 1: Enter the Dates

Begin by entering the start date in one cell, let's say A1, and the end date in another cell, for example, B1.

Enter date

Step 2: Calculate Days

In a new cell, let's say C2, use the subtraction formula to calculate the number of days between the two dates. Enter the formula: =B2 – A2

Enter formula

Step 3: Get the Result

Press Enter, and the cell C2 will display the number of days between the start date and end date using the subtraction method.


Example 2. DAYS Function

By providing the end date and start date as arguments, the function automatically yields the time difference.

You can enter the dates directly:

=DAYS(end_date, start_date)

Days Function

Example 3. DATEDIF Function

Another method to count days is by using the DATEDIF function. This function is designed specifically to calculate date differences, and it offers various unit options, including days

=DATEDIF(start_date, end_date, "d")

To calculate the number of days between two dates, enter the start date in the first argument, the end date in the second, and the "d" unit in the last input:

In our example, the formula is: =DATEDIF(A2, B2, "d")


A DATEDIF formula, unlike a subtraction operation, can only subtract an older date from a younger date, not the other way around. The formula throws a #NUM if the start date is later than the end date.

Part 3: Best Alternative to Microsoft Office - WPS Office

WPS Office

WPS Office is a free and open-source office suite that is a great alternative to Microsoft Office. It has a simple interface and convenient functions, making it easy to use for people who are not proficient in Excel. WPS Office is compatible with Microsoft Office file formats, so you can easily open and save documents created in either suite.


  • Simple interface: WPS Office has a simple interface that is easy to use, even for people who are not proficient in Excel.

  • Convenient Functions: With a diverse set of functions and features, WPS Office facilitates efficient data management and document processing tasks.

  • Free and open-source: WPS Office is free to download and use, and it is also open-source, which means that you can modify the code to suit your needs.

  • Compatible with Microsoft Office: WPS Office is compatible with Microsoft Office file formats, so you can easily open and save documents created in either suite.

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Does it have Some Shortcuts to Find the Number of Days Between Two Dates in Excel?

Excel offers shortcuts to find the number of days between two date:

  • Enter current date: Ctrl + ; (semicolon).

  • Enter current time: Ctrl + Shift + ; (semicolon).

  • Auto-fill dates: Drag fill handle.

  • Format dates: Right-click > Format Cells > Date.

  • Convert text to dates: Data > Text to Columns.

  • Calculate days between dates: Subtract dates with a formula, e.g., "=B1-A1".

  • Calculate months between dates: Use "DATEDIF" function, e.g., "=DATEDIF(A1,B1,"m")".

  • Calculate years between dates: Use "DATEDIF" function, e.g., "=DATEDIF(A1,B1,"y")".

  • Add/subtract days: Use "DATE" function, e.g., "=A1+7" or "=A1-7".

  • Add/subtract months: Use "EDATE" function, e.g., "=EDATE(A1,3)" or "=EDATE(A1,-3)".

How to Calculate the Remaining Days Between Two Dates?

To build a countdown days formula in Excel, you must first enter a date for which the countdown is to be created. In addition, you must utilize the TODAY function. When you subtract the future date from today's date, you get the number of days left. Because you're using TODAY, which is a dynamic date that changes every day. It generates a countdown for the number of days left.


In summary, this article equips readers with the knowledge to effortlessly determine the number of days between two dates in Excel. By exploring various methods, including the powerful DAYS function, users can streamline their data calculations. Additionally, the article emphasizes the advantages of WPS Office, a fantastic alternative to Microsoft Office, offering a simple interface and convenient features for enhanced productivity.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.