How to Add Months in Excel Automatically: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you want to add months in Excel automatically, it’s simpler than you might think. We’re going to use some built-in functions that will let you add a specific number of months to a date. You’ll be able to see the updated date without having to manually calculate it. Let’s jump right in and break down the steps to make this happen.

How to Add Months in Excel Automatically

First, we’re going to set up our Excel spreadsheet so that we have a date and a number of months to add. We’ll use the EDATE function to automate this. Follow these steps to get it done.

Step 1: Open Your Excel Worksheet

Open the Excel worksheet where you want to perform this task.

Make sure the file is saved, so you don’t lose any data. If you don’t have an Excel file, open a new one.

Step 2: Enter Your Starting Date in a Cell

Type the starting date in a cell (e.g., A1).

Ensure the date is in the correct format like mm/dd/yyyy or dd/mm/yyyy, depending on your region.

Step 3: Enter the Number of Months to Add in Another Cell

In another cell (e.g., B1), enter the number of months you want to add to the starting date.

This can be a positive number to move forward in months or negative to move back in months.

Step 4: Use the EDATE Function

In a new cell (e.g., C1), type the formula =EDATE(A1, B1).

This function takes your starting date and the number of months to add, giving you a new date.

Step 5: Press Enter

Press Enter to see the result.

Excel will now display the new date, which is the original date plus the number of months you specified.

After completing these steps, your Excel worksheet will automatically calculate and display the new date each time you change the number of months or the starting date. This is super handy for tracking deadlines, project timelines, or any long-term planning.

Tips for Adding Months in Excel Automatically

  • Ensure your date format is consistent to avoid errors.
  • You can use negative numbers in the EDATE function to subtract months.
  • If you want to dynamically change the date, use cell references rather than hardcoding numbers in the function.
  • Double-check your regional date settings in Excel to ensure proper formatting.
  • Combining EDATE with other functions like IF or VLOOKUP can provide even more powerful date calculations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I change the date format in Excel?

Select the cell with the date, right-click, choose ‘Format Cells,’ and then select the ‘Date’ category to choose your desired format.

Can I use EDATE with other date functions?

Absolutely! You can nest EDATE within other functions like IF or VLOOKUP to create more complex date calculations.

What happens if my starting date is not in a valid format?

The EDATE function will return an error. Make sure your date is recognized by Excel by using the correct format.

Can I use EDATE to add years?

Yes, indirectly. By multiplying the number of years by 12 (months), you can use EDATE to add years. For instance, to add 2 years, use EDATE(StartDate, 24).

Is EDATE available in all versions of Excel?

EDATE is available in most versions, but it’s always good to check your version if you encounter any issues.


  1. Open your Excel worksheet.
  2. Enter your starting date in a cell.
  3. Enter the number of months to add in another cell.
  4. Use the EDATE function.
  5. Press Enter.


Adding months in Excel automatically is not only simple but also a powerful way to manage your dates without extra headaches. Using the EDATE function, you can quickly update your timelines, track important dates, or even plan long-term projects with just a few clicks.

If you found this guide useful, why not explore more of Excel’s capabilities? There’s a whole world of functions and features out there waiting to make your data management tasks easier. And don’t forget, practice makes perfect—so go ahead and experiment with different dates and functions to see what else you can automate in Excel. Happy spreadsheeting!

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