The Excel DAYS function is a Date & Time formula that returns the number of days between dates (a start and end date). This can be very useful in finding the number of days to expiration, analyzing the time gap between sales, or really any other similar situation where you have two days and want to find out the difference in days, without counting how many days is in each month. In this guide, we’re going to show you how to use the DAYS function and also go over some tips and error handling methods.


Supported versions

  • All Excel versions

Excel DAYS Function Syntax

DAYS(end_date, start_date)


Arguments

end_date End date of the period
start_date Start date of the period

How to Find the Number of Days Between Dates

Both end_date and start_date are required arguments. The arguments can be a string, a serial number, or a calculated date through a formula (e.g. DATE). Below is an example.

=DAYS(“04/23/2026″,”11/29/2018”)

=DAYS(46135,43433)

=DAYS(DATE(2026,4,23),DATE(2018,11,29))

If the end_date is smaller than the start_date, the function will return a negative number.

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Tips

  • The DAYS function ignores the time value of dates.
  • Text values can be used as arguments. Excel uses the DATEVALUE function with text values.
  • Excel keeps date and time values as numbers. It assumes that Jan 1st, 1900 is 1, and every subsequent date value is based on this. While whole numbers represent days, decimals represent time values. For example; 1/1/2018 is equal to 43101, and 12:00 is equal to 5.
  • Alternatively, you can use a regular subtraction operation to get the number of days between two dates.  However, the dates used in this type of a calculation must be serial numbers.
    DAYS(A1,B1) equals to A1-B1

Issues

If the text arguments are not valid dates, the DAYS function returns #VALUE! error value. In this case, use the DATE function instead.