Converting Dates to Numbers in Excel on Windows 11: A How-To Guide

Converting dates to numbers in Excel on Windows 11 is a piece of cake once you get the hang of it. All it takes is a few clicks, and you’ll have those pesky dates turned into numbers in no time. It’s a nifty trick that can save you a ton of time when you’re working with data.

Step by Step Tutorial: Converting Dates to Numbers in Excel on Windows 11

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand why you might want to convert dates to numbers. In Excel, dates are actually stored as numbers. Each date is assigned a serial number that represents the number of days since January 0, 1900. Converting dates to numbers can help you perform calculations and analyze data more efficiently.

Step 1: Open Excel and select the dates

Open your Excel workbook and click on the cell or range of cells containing the dates you want to convert.

Step 2: Right-click and choose ‘Format Cells’

Right-click on the selected cells, and a menu will pop up. Click on ‘Format Cells’ at the bottom of the menu.

Formatting cells allows you to change the appearance of your data without altering the data itself.

Step 3: Choose ‘Number’ from the Category list

In the Format Cells window, click on the ‘Number’ tab. You’ll see a list of categories on the left-hand side.

Step 4: Select ‘General’ and click ‘OK’

Under the Number tab, select ‘General’ from the category list and then click ‘OK’.

The ‘General’ format is the default number format in Excel. It displays the cell contents as a number without any specific formatting.

Step 5: Watch as Excel converts your dates to numbers

Excel will now convert the selected dates to their corresponding serial numbers.

After completing these steps, you’ll notice that the dates in your selected cells have been transformed into numbers. These numbers represent the number of days since January 0, 1900, and can now be used in calculations and data analysis.

Tips: Converting Dates to Numbers in Excel on Windows 11

  • If you want to convert the numbers back to dates, simply reverse the process and format the cells as ‘Date’.
  • Remember that the serial number for dates starts on January 1, 1900, so the number 1 represents this date.
  • Be careful when converting dates from other calendar systems, as Excel uses the Gregorian calendar.
  • If you have dates before January 1, 1900, Excel will not recognize them as valid dates.
  • Use the ‘Text to Columns’ feature in Excel if you need to split date and time into separate columns before converting them to numbers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the serial number format for dates in Excel?

The serial number format is Excel’s unique system where each date is assigned a number, starting from 1 for January 1, 1900.

Can I convert a range of dates all at once?

Yes, you can select a range of cells with dates and follow the same steps to convert them all to numbers simultaneously.

Will converting dates to numbers affect my formulas?

Yes, if you have formulas that depend on those cells being dates, converting them to numbers might affect the outcome of those formulas.

Can I convert dates to numbers in Excel on a Mac?

Yes, the process is similar on a Mac, although some menu options might be located in slightly different places.

Is there a way to automate this process for future data?

You can create a macro or use Excel’s Power Query feature to automate the process of converting dates to numbers for new data.


  1. Open Excel and select the dates.
  2. Right-click and choose ‘Format Cells’.
  3. Choose ‘Number’ from the Category list.
  4. Select ‘General’ and click ‘OK’.
  5. Watch as Excel converts your dates to numbers.


Converting dates to numbers in Excel on Windows 11 is a straightforward process that can enhance your data analysis capabilities. Whether you’re crunching numbers for a financial report or organizing a schedule, understanding how to manipulate dates and numbers is crucial. With the steps outlined above, you can easily transition between date formats and numerical representations, ensuring that your data works for you in the most efficient way possible. Remember to use these newfound skills responsibly – the power of Excel is now at your fingertips. Keep exploring, keep learning, and who knows what other Excel secrets you’ll uncover next!

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