How to change date format in Excel – Windows and Mac

Here's our guide to quickly changing the date format in Excel.

The microsoft excel logo on a purple background, showcasing the ability to change date format in Excel.

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Want to know how to change date format in Excel? We’ve got you covered.

In the Excel control panel, there is a default date setting that is triggered anytime data is input to a cell in the format of number/number, for example, if you input 3/3 or 03/03 then this would trigger the default date format to change this to 3-Mar. However, not everyone wants this format, so they’re always looking for a way to change date format in Excel.

To help you out, we’re going to explain how you can quickly change the date format in Excel on both Windows and Mac. So, without any further ado, let’s get to it!


How to change date format in Excel on Windows and Mac

Here’s how you can change the date format in Excel. The method is same for both Windows and Mac users, but those with Mac will just have to press a different button.



Select the cell

First, select the cell which contains a date.

A spreadsheet with a red circle in the middle and the ability to modify date format in Excel.



Open the settings menu

Now, after selecting the cell, press CTRL + 1 on your keyboard. If you’re using a Mac, press Command + 1. This will pop up a settings menu on the screen.



Navigate to date

Click on the Numbers tab, then go to Date. This can be found on the left side.

An example of how to add a file to a folder in windows 10 and change the date format in Excel.



Choose a format

From the Type: section, choose your preferred format, and click on OK.

A screen shot of a calendar in Microsoft Outlook showing the ability to change the date format.

This will change the format of the date.

A spreadsheet displaying a formatted date in the center of the screen.

If you wish to create a custom date format in Excel, you can go to Custom instead of Date in the menu, and type your custom format there.

What are short date format and long date format in Excel?

These are two date formats that you can quickly select from a drop-down menu. The short date format appears as 14/02/2024 while the long date format appears as Wednesday, 14 February 2024. To access these two formats, you have to click on the cell with the date, go to the Home tab, click on the drop-down menu above the Number section, and select short or long date format from there.

Learn how to create and customize a calendar in Excel, including the ability to change date formats.

Final thoughts

We hope that this guide has been of help to you and that you will now be able to change the date format in Excel without any difficulty. Mastering Excel is not as difficult as it seems, all it takes is some patience and practice! If you want to learn more about Excel and its features, you can follow these guides:

Kevin is the Editor of PC Guide. He has a broad interest and enthusiasm for consumer electronics, PCs and all things consumer tech - and more than 15 years experience in tech journalism.