# Finding the difference between dates with the DATEDIF function

March 2018

## Finding the difference between dates with the DATEDIF function

This walkthrough will teach you how to make use of the DATEDIF function in Excel.

## The Syntax

=DATEDIF(start date,end date,type of calculation)
• Start date: Must be a valid date value.
• End date: Must be a valid date value >q than beginning date.
• The type of calculation to be performed:
• 1 "y": difference in years (year).
• 2 "m": the difference in months (month).
• 3 "d": difference in days (day).
• 4 "ym" difference in months, after subtracting the years.
• 5 "yd" difference in days, after subtracting the years.
• 6 "md" difference in days, after subtracting the years and months.

## Example

• In A1: 05/02/2007
• In B1: 02/02/2009
• 1 =DATEDIF(A1,B1,"y") => 1
• 2 =DATEDIF(A1,B1,"m") => 23
• 3 =DATEDIF(A1,B1,"d") => 728
• 4 =DATEDIF(A1,B1,"ym") => 11
• 5 =DATEDIF(A1,B1,"yd") => 362
• 6 =DATEDIF(A1,B1,"md") => 28

If you combine 1, 4, 6 => 1 year 11 months 28 days.

## Implemetation:

• To use this function, make sure the end date is greater than start date, otherwise you will have the #NUM! error. The same applies if your calculation is not correct.
• As you can see, you can use this funtion to calculate a precise time lapse or to manage a schedule.
• In all cases, you get a number that must be called depending on the parameter: years, months, days.

Note that, this method is not 100% reliable
• When you use start and end dates like: 01/09/13 and 31/12/13, the dateif function will return difference 3 months (instead of 4).
Published by jak58. Latest update on November 6, 2016 at 02:09 PM by owilson.