How to Change Date in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide to Date Formatting

Changing the date in Excel is a straightforward process. By following a few simple steps, you can quickly modify the date to suit your needs. Whether you’re updating records or organizing data, this guide will help you change the date in Excel with ease.

Step-by-Step Tutorial: How to Change Date in Excel

Changing the date in an Excel cell is a fundamental task that involves selecting the cell, entering the new date, and ensuring the format is correct. Let’s break it down step-by-step.

Step 1: Open Excel and Select the Cell

Open your Excel file and click on the cell that contains the date you want to change.

After opening Excel, navigate to the specific sheet where your date is located. Click on the cell that holds the date; the cell should now be highlighted.

Step 2: Enter the New Date

Type the new date into the selected cell in the format your Excel is set to (e.g., MM/DD/YYYY).

Once the cell is selected, simply type in the new date. Make sure you follow the date format settings of your Excel. For instance, in the U.S., the common format is MM/DD/YYYY.

Step 3: Press Enter

Hit the Enter key on your keyboard to apply the new date to the cell.

Pressing Enter confirms the date change. The cell will now display the new date you entered.

Step 4: Check the Date Format

Ensure that the date appears in the correct format. If it doesn’t, you may need to adjust the cell format settings.

If the date doesn’t look right, it might be due to the cell’s formatting. Right-click the cell, select "Format Cells," and make adjustments under the "Date" category.

Step 5: Save Your Changes

Finally, save your Excel file to keep the updated date.

Click on the "Save" icon or press Ctrl + S on your keyboard to save your changes. This ensures your new date is stored in the file.

After completing these steps, the date in your selected cell will be updated. You can now proceed with your analysis or data entry tasks, confident that your dates are correct.

Tips for Changing Date in Excel

  1. Check Regional Settings: Ensure your computer’s regional settings match your desired date format.
  2. Use Shortcuts: Use Ctrl + ; to quickly enter today’s date.
  3. Text to Columns: Use the Text to Columns feature to change dates in bulk.
  4. Custom Formats: Create custom date formats if the predefined ones don’t meet your needs.
  5. Date Functions: Familiarize yourself with date functions like TODAY() and DATE() for dynamic date entries.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I change the date format in Excel?

You can change the date format by right-clicking the cell, selecting "Format Cells," then choosing "Date" and selecting the desired format.

Can I change multiple dates at once?

Yes, you can use the Find and Replace feature or the Text to Columns tool for bulk date changes.

Why is my date not changing correctly?

This could be due to incorrect cell formatting. Check if the cell is formatted as "Date" under the Format Cells menu.

How do I enter today’s date quickly?

Press Ctrl + ; to insert the current date into a cell.

What if my date appears as a number?

This happens when Excel reads the date as a serial number. Change the cell format to "Date" to correct this.


  1. Open Excel and select the cell.
  2. Enter the new date.
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Check the date format.
  5. Save your changes.


Changing the date in Excel is an essential skill that can make handling data much easier. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure your dates are accurate and properly formatted. Remember to check your regional settings and use Excel’s features to streamline the process.

Whether you’re a student, professional, or just someone managing personal data, mastering date changes in Excel will save you time and frustration. Explore further Excel functions and formatting options to boost your efficiency and data accuracy. Happy Excel-ing!

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