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Bogdan Rams
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How To Calculate Time Difference In Excel [PORTABLE]


To begin with, let's see how you can quickly calculate elapsed time in Excel, i.e. find the difference between a beginning time and an ending time. And as is often the case, there is more than one formula to perform time calculations. Which one to choose depends on your dataset and exactly what result you are trying to achieve. So, let's run through all methods, one at a time.




How to calculate Time Difference in Excel



And now, let's see how our time difference formula and time codes work in real worksheets. With Start times residing in column A and End times in column B, you can copy the following formula in columns C though E:


The elapsed time is displayed differently depending on the time format applied to the column:Note. If the elapsed time is displayed as hash marks (#####), then either a cell with the formula is not wide enough to fit the time or the result of your time calculations is a negative value.Formula 2. Calculating time difference with the TEXT functionAnother simple technique to calculate the duration between two times in Excel is using the TEXT function:


Supposing that your start time is in A2 and end time in B2, you can use a simple equation B2-A2 to calculate the difference between two times, and then multiply it by 24, which is the number of hours in one day:


=(B2-A2)* 86400Note. For the results to display correctly, the General format should be applied to the cells with your time difference formula.Formula 4. Calculate difference in one time unit ignoring othersTo find the difference between 2 times in a certain time unit, ignoring the others, use one of the following functions.


  • =HOUR(B2-A2)Difference in minutes, ignoring hours and seconds:=MINUTE(B2-A2)

  • Difference in seconds, ignoring hours and minutes:=SECOND(B2-A2)

When using Excel's HOUR, MINUTE and SECOND functions, please remember that the result cannot exceed 24 for hours and 60 for minutes and seconds.Note. If the end time is less than the start time (i.e. the result of the formula is a negative number), the #NUM! error is returned.Formula 5. Calculate elapsed time from a start time to nowIn order to calculate how much time has elapsed since the start time to now, you simply use the NOW function to return today's date and the current time, and then subtract the start date and time from it.


=NOW()-A2In case the elapsed time exceeds 24 hours, use one of these time formats, for example d "days" h:mm:ss like in the following screenshot:If your starting points contain only time values without dates, you need to use the TIME function to calculate the elapsed time correctly. For example, the following formula returns the time elapsed since the time value in cell A2 up to now:


=TIME(HOUR(NOW()), MINUTE(NOW()), SECOND(NOW())) - A2Note. The elapsed time is not updated in real-time, it refreshes only when the workbook is reopened or recalculated. To force the formula to update, press either Shift + F9 to recalculate the active spreadsheet or hit F9 to recalculate all open workbooks.Formula 5. Display time difference as "XX days, XX hours, XX minutes and XX seconds"This is probably the most user-friendly formula to calculate time difference in Excel. You use the HOUR, MINUTE and SECOND functions to return corresponding time units and the INT function to compute the difference in days. And then, you concatenate all these functions in a single formula along with the text labels:


=INT(B2-A2) & " days, " & HOUR(B2-A2) & " hours, " & MINUTE(B2-A2) & " minutes and " & SECOND(B2-A2) & " seconds"To instruct your Excel time difference formula to hide zero values, embed four IF functions into it:


The syntax may seem excessively complicated, but it works :)Alternatively, you can calculate time difference by simply subtracting the start time from the end time (e.g. =B2-A2), and then apply the following time format to the cell:


When calculating the time difference in Excel, you may sometimes get the result as ###### error because the difference is a negative time. But is there a way to show negative times properly in Excel? Of course, there is a way, and even more than one :)


Both formulas check if the time difference (A2-B2) is greater than 0, and if it is they return that difference. If the time difference is less than zero, the first formula calculates the absolute difference and concatenates the minus sign. The second formula yields exactly the same result by using a negative time format "-h::mm".Note. Please keep in mind that unlike the first method that treats negative times as negative numeric values, the result of the TEXT function is always a text string that cannot be used in calculations or other formulas.Adding and subtracting time in ExcelBasically, there are 2 ways to add and subtract time in Excel:


That's it! For example, this is how you can add the specified number of hours, minutes and seconds to the time in A4:If you need to copy the formula to other cells, fix all references except the cell containing the original time (A4) with the $ sign like shown in the screenshot below (by default, the wizard always uses relative references). Then double-click the fill handle to copy the formula down the column and you are good to go!Besides time calculations, the wizard can also add and subtract dates, get the difference between two dates, and calculate age from the birthdate.


This is how you calculate time in Excel worksheets. To learn other ways to manipulate dates and times in Excel, I encourage you to check out the resources at the end of this article. I thank you for reading and hope to see you on our blog next week!


There are two approaches that you can take to present the results in the standard time format (hours : minutes : seconds). You use the subtraction operator (-) to find the difference between times, and then do either of the following:


In this tutorial, I will show you a couple of ways to perform calculations using time in Excel (such as calculating the time difference, adding or subtracting time, showing time in different formats, and doing a sum of time values)


Note: This formula only works when both the time values are of the same day. If the day changes (where one of the time values is of another date and the second one of another date), This formula will give wrong results. Have a look at the section where I cover the formula to calculate the time difference when the date changes later in this tutorial.


In this case, if you use the NOW function to calculate the time elapsed till now, it is going to give you the wrong result (as the resulting value would also have the total days that have elapsed since 1st Jan 1990).


In cell B9, I have used a simple SUM formula to calculate the total time all these tasks are going to take, and it gives me the value as 18:30 (which means that it is going to take 18 hours and 20 minutes to complete all these tasks)


The way to fixes to change the formula to give you the right result. For example, if you are calculating the time difference between the two times, and the date changes, you need to adjust the formula to account for it.


Hello, what if i need to calculate daily working hours (8) hrs if exceed 8 hrs to calculat the over time for the three shifts and the timing concidering timing from 19:00 to 07:00 as 1.5 rate and other hours will be in 1.25 rate


How do i calculate time difference in milliseconds between two columns where value of time has milliseconds component ... i.e. 16:33:44:056. Please refer to column E and J in pic .. i want to calculate difference in milli seconds between J and E ...


Use the DateDiff function to determine how many specified time intervals exist between two dates. For example, you might use DateDiff to calculate the number of days between two dates, or the number of weeks between today and the end of the year.


I had to separate the times from the date columns that were formatted as date and time. After I separated out the times, I applied the simple formula =N2-O2 to calculate the time differential. But, it is returning an infinite number of #######. I uploaded the file for help. I am trying to find the time differential, minutes and seconds, between columns N and O. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks! Hugh


1. Firstly, you need to know the corresponding time offset between two time zones in order to convert between them. As we know, the time difference between Pacific Standard Time and Beijing time is 16 hours.


Note: Here we convert date time from Pacific Standard Time to Beijing Time, so the time difference number is 16. In contrary, you need to enter -16 into the Number box.


Excel read dates and times as numbers so that you can effortlessly apply simple to advanced arithmetic operations and formulas for different values. Are you wondering how to calculate two different time values? Or how would you manage time calculation in Excel sheet? You can even calculate date values or the difference between two date or time values with Excel.


In real-time situations, you will see the clear-cut results of the formula used for time difference calculation in the Excel sheet. In column A, you will have to enter the Start time values and in column B, enter the End time values. In columns C through E, copy the formula given below:


Assume that the start time is placed in A2 and the end time is in B2. To find the difference between two-time values, a simple equation B2-A2 is used. Later on, you have to multiply this value by 24 and the result is known for the number of hours in one day:


Finally, when you need to find out the total seconds between two-time values, 86400


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