# How to use the DAYS function in Excel

In this article, we will learn How to use the DAYS function in Excel.

Number of days between two dates

Date values in Excel are stored as numbers. To take the difference between two date values just use the subtract operator (-) between the two given values. For example getting the number of days between the patient admitted to a patient detarted in a hospital. use the DAYS function to do the same task using cell reference. Let's learn more about DAYS function syntax and an example to illustrate the function usage.

DAYS Function in Excel

DAYS function gets a number which is the count of days between two given dates.

Syntax:

 =DAYS (end_date, start_date)

Start_date : from the date

End_date : till the date

Example :

All of these might be confusing to understand. Let's understand how to use the function using an example. Here we have some date values and we need to find the number of days between them.

Use the formula.

 =DAYS(B2,A2)

B2 : end_date

A2 : start_date

You can see the formula returns a number, the total days elapsed between the two dates.

Now copy the formula to other cells using shortcut key Ctrl + D.

Use the above function formulas to get the days between dates in Excel.

Alternate method

Excel stores dates as numbers, a simple mathematical formulation explained. So just need to subtract the two dates it will get the days between the two dates.

 =later_date - earlier date

Or

 =IF(date1>date2, date1 - date2, date2 - date1)

Use the below formula, if you don’t know which date to put first.

Let’s understand this function using it an example.

Use the formula in C2 and D2 cells.

 =A2-B2

This formula gets you negative results if the date1 < date2.

If you don’t want to care which is smaller, just use the below formula in remaining cells

 =IF(A4>B4, A4-B4, B4-A4)

Use the above function formulas to get the days between dates in Excel

DATEDIF function to get the number of days between two dates

Example :

All of these might be confusing to understand. Let's understand how to use the function using an example.

Here we have some examples to test the formula. Here given the start date and end date, we need to calculate the difference in days between dates

Use the Formula:

 =DATEDIF (A2, B2, C2)

A2 : first date argument given as cell reference

B2 : Second date argument given as cell reference

C2 : specified unit

Marked boxes while using the function shows us that argument to the function given as cell reference.

The function returns the complete calendar years between the dates using the “y”

As you can see the function returns the values.

You can also use the NETWORKDAYS function to get only the working number of days between the two given dates

Here are all the observational notes using the DAYS function in Excel
Notes :

1. Excel stores dates as serial numbers and is used in calculation by the function. So it’s recommended to use dates as cell reference or using the DATE function instead of giving direct argument to the function. Check the validation of date values if the function returns #VALUE! Error.
2. DAYS function can also subtract the two given numbers. Careful using the function
3. The date in excel must be in valid format
4. Unit argument in DATEDIF function can be given as cell reference or directly to the function in double quotes.
5. Start_date must be before the end_date or else the function will give #NUM! error
6. The function gives #VALUE! Error if the date is not a valid date.

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Related Articles :

How to use the NETWORKDAYS function in Excel : Returns the working days between the two given dates using the NETWORKDAYS function.

How to use the WORKDAYS function in Excel : Returns a workday date value after days added to the start_date using the WORKDAYS function in Excel.

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