How to Exclude Weekends in Excel: A Comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide

Excluding weekends in Excel is a handy trick, especially if you’re dealing with work schedules, deadlines, or any time-sensitive tasks that skip weekends. You can achieve this easily with a combination of Excel functions like WORKDAY or NETWORKDAYS. These functions help calculate dates while automatically skipping weekends.

Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Exclude Weekends in Excel

In this section, you’ll learn how to exclude weekends in Excel using the WORKDAY and NETWORKDAYS functions. These steps will show you how to set up your spreadsheet to calculate dates and durations while avoiding weekends.

Step 1: Open Your Excel Workbook

First, open the Excel workbook where you want to exclude weekends.

This step is straightforward but crucial. Ensure you have your Excel file ready to go, whether it’s a new document or an existing one.

Step 2: Identify Your Start Date

In your spreadsheet, identify the cell that contains your start date. For example, let’s use cell A1.

Your start date is the beginning point for your calculations. Without this, Excel won’t know where to start.

Step 3: Use the WORKDAY Function

In another cell, type the formula =WORKDAY(A1,5). This function will calculate 5 workdays from the start date while skipping weekends.

The WORKDAY function is simple yet powerful. It takes your start date and adds the specified number of workdays, automatically excluding Saturdays and Sundays.

Step 4: Calculate Workdays Between Two Dates

To find the number of workdays between two dates, use the NETWORKDAYS function. For example, =NETWORKDAYS(A1, B1).

The NETWORKDAYS function is great for measuring the span of time between two dates. It considers only weekdays, making it perfect for tracking project timelines or deadlines.

Step 5: Adjust for Holidays

If you need to account for holidays, add an optional range for holidays to your functions. For example, =WORKDAY(A1, 5, C1:C10).

This step allows you to refine your calculations further by excluding holidays. Simply list your holidays in a range and include it in your formula.

After following these steps, your Excel spreadsheet will exclude weekends from your date calculations. This adjustment can streamline your workflow, especially when dealing with business days, project timelines, and scheduling tasks.

Tips for Excluding Weekends in Excel

  • Use the WORKDAY function for simple calculations.
  • Use the NETWORKDAYS function when you need to calculate the span between two dates.
  • Always check your date format to avoid errors.
  • Include a holiday range to exclude holidays as well as weekends.
  • Make use of named ranges to simplify your formulas and make them easier to understand.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I exclude weekends in Excel?

You can exclude weekends in Excel by using the WORKDAY or NETWORKDAYS functions. These functions automatically skip Saturdays and Sundays.

What is the difference between WORKDAY and NETWORKDAYS?

WORKDAY calculates a date by adding a specified number of workdays to a start date. NETWORKDAYS calculates the number of workdays between two dates.

Can I exclude holidays along with weekends?

Yes, both WORKDAY and NETWORKDAYS functions allow you to include an optional range for holidays.

What should I do if my dates are not formatted correctly?

Ensure your cells are set to the date format. You can change the cell format by going to the ‘Format Cells’ menu and selecting ‘Date’.

Are there any other functions to exclude weekends?

While WORKDAY and NETWORKDAYS are the most common, you can also use WORKDAY.INTL and NETWORKDAYS.INTL for more customization, such as different weekend days.


  1. Open your Excel workbook.
  2. Identify your start date.
  3. Use the WORKDAY function.
  4. Calculate workdays between two dates.
  5. Adjust for holidays.


Excluding weekends in Excel can save you a lot of headache and hassle, especially if you’re managing schedules or timelines that need to skip weekends. By mastering functions like WORKDAY and NETWORKDAYS, you can make your workflow smoother and more accurate.

Feel free to practice these steps and play around with different scenarios to get comfortable with these functions. The more you use them, the easier they’ll become. So, open up that Excel file and start making your date calculations more efficient today!

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