How to Calculate Months Between Two Dates in Excel: Step-by-Step Guide

How to Calculate Months Between Two Dates in Excel

Calculating the number of months between two dates in Excel is a straightforward process. You can easily accomplish this task by using Excel’s built-in functions. The process involves entering the dates in separate cells and then using a formula to find the difference in months.

Calculating Months Between Two Dates in Excel

In this section, you will learn how to calculate the difference in months between two dates using a simple formula in Excel. This step-by-step guide will make the process easy to follow.

Step 1: Open Excel

Open your Excel application on your computer.

Make sure you have a blank workbook where you can input your dates and perform the calculation.

Step 2: Enter the Start Date

In cell A1, type in the start date (e.g., 01/01/2020).

Ensure the date is formatted correctly. You can format the date by right-clicking the cell, selecting ‘Format Cells,’ and choosing the ‘Date’ category.

Step 3: Enter the End Date

In cell B1, type in the end date (e.g., 30/06/2021).

Similar to the start date, make sure this date is also formatted correctly using the same method.

Step 4: Use the DATEDIF Function

In cell C1, type the formula =DATEDIF(A1, B1, "m").

The DATEDIF function calculates the difference between two dates. The "m" argument tells Excel to calculate the difference in months.

Step 5: Press Enter

Press Enter to see the result.

The number in cell C1 will be the number of months between the two dates you entered. For example, if you entered 01/01/2020 and 30/06/2021, you will see "17."

What Happens Next

Once you complete these steps, you will have successfully calculated the number of months between two dates in Excel. This can be useful for tracking project timelines, financial calculations, or any other application where you need to measure time spans.

Tips for Calculating Months Between Two Dates in Excel

  • Use cell references for more flexibility: Instead of hardcoding dates directly into the formula, use cell references so you can easily change the dates without modifying the formula.
  • Ensure date formats are consistent: Inconsistent date formats can lead to errors, so always double-check your date entries.
  • Understand the DATEDIF function: Knowing the different arguments ("d" for days, "y" for years) can help you use this function for various time calculations.
  • Use the TODAY() function for dynamic calculations: If you want to calculate the number of months from a specific date to today, you can use =DATEDIF(A1, TODAY(), "m").
  • Check for date validity: Incorrect or invalid dates will return errors, so make sure your dates are valid and correctly entered.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the DATEDIF function?

The DATEDIF function calculates the difference between two dates in days, months, or years.

Can I calculate the difference in days or years?

Yes, use "d" for days and "y" for years in the DATEDIF function.

What if my dates are not in the correct format?

Ensure both dates are in a recognized date format by using the ‘Format Cells’ option.

Is there an alternative to DATEDIF?

You can also use other functions like YEARFRAC, but DATEDIF is simpler for months.

Can I automate this calculation?

Yes, by using cell references and the TODAY() function, you can create dynamic formulas.


  1. Open Excel
  2. Enter the Start Date
  3. Enter the End Date
  4. Use the DATEDIF Function
  5. Press Enter


Calculating the number of months between two dates in Excel is a useful skill for various time-related tasks. Whether you’re managing a project timeline or analyzing financial data, knowing how to use the DATEDIF function can make your life a lot easier. With just a few simple steps, you can quickly find the difference between any two dates.

Don’t forget to ensure that your dates are correctly formatted and consider using cell references for more flexibility. By mastering this simple yet powerful function, you’ll be able to handle a wide range of time-related calculations effortlessly.

If you found this guide helpful, make sure to explore more Excel tips and tricks to further enhance your spreadsheet skills. Happy calculating!

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