Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Converting European Dates to US Dates.

Converting European Dates to US Dates

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 29, 2015)


Linda asked if there is a formula that will convert a date shown in the European fashion of day/month/year to the US version of month/date/year. Truth be told, this may not be necessary. You see, Excel maintains dates, internally, as numeric values and then simply displays them using various formats. If the dates are truly dates—numeric values—in the worksheet, then you can simply change the format and the dates will be displayed in the way common to the US.

Of course, the date you see in a worksheet could be a text value, instead of a date value. You can test whether the date is really an Excel date or a text value by changing the format of the cell (or cells) to General. (Do this using the Number tab of the Format Cells dialog box.) If it is text, you'll see no change in the display. If it is a date value, the date should change to a number that represents the number of days since whatever base date your system is using (typically January 1, 1900).

If your dates are truly date values, then simply change the format of the cell (or cells) to whatever date format you want to use. Again, this is done using the Number tab of the Format Cells dialog box.

If your dates are text values, then you will need to convert them to true date values (non-text) so that they can be formatted as just described. You can do this by using a formula to do the conversion. If you have a text date in cell A1 in the format dd/mm/yyyy, then you can use the following formula:


The result of this formula is a date serial number that is recognized and can be formatted by Excel.

Of course, it is possible that you have a bunch of mixed dates in your worksheet. Consider the following list of dates:


If these are entered into a worksheet, the first twelve dates (1/1/11 through 12/1/11) are parsed by Excel as January 1, 2011, through December 1, 2011. The next five dates are parsed as text since Excel doesn't, by default, recognize that the dates are in d/m/y format. If you have a bunch of dates like this, you can quickly convert them to real dates without the use of any formulas. Just follow these steps:

  1. Select all the cells containing the dates—both the date values and the text values.
  2. Start the Text to Columns wizard. (Choose Text to Columns from the Data menu.) (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The first screen of the Text to Columns wizard.

  4. Choose Fixed Width and click Next to proceed to step 2 of the wizard.
  5. If you see any column break indicators in the dialog box, get rid of them by double-clicking on them. You don't want any such indicators because you don't want Excel to think you have static breaking places for your data.
  6. When all the column break indictors are gone, click Next to proceed to step 3 of the wizard.
  7. In the Column Data Format section of the dialog, click the Date radio button.
  8. Using the date format drop-down list, choose DMY.
  9. Click Finish.

That's it; your data is converted, in place, to the date values that Excel can work with.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3309) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Converting European Dates to US Dates.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is seven more than 3?

2018-04-02 02:54:49

Alan Elston

@Dana WarkentinI share your frustrations. I frequently work between USA English and German systems.The problem is that there is no "standard" as you refer to it. I am not saying that written in some Holy book somewhere there may be an official “Standard” .But in real life, some people will fight to the death to say that their used “standard” is the “standard”, regardless of what official or God given documentation their may be anywhere..And different people have a different “standard”Unfortunately you have no choice but to try to understand as much as you can about all the different ways to check for and adjust the different “standard” being used at any time.In any date which I have anything to do with, I always try to have the Month in words in addition to the “standard” number format.. whichever “standard” that might be.It is the same problem with the coma and point conventions with Thousand and decimal separator. I have a solution there which for my work is close to perfect. But that will not be perfect for all. I ever get a similar solution for the Date “standard” problem , then I will post a note here.AlanP.S. If you tell me specifically what you want to convert to what , then I will see if I can suggest a solution.But from what you said I am not sure what you want. I don’t know what is your “standard”Mine is currently for example, for the first day in April in the year 2018 the following ( just using just numbers )01 04 2018In my work I would use either this:01 04 2018 01 April 2018or this:01 04 2018 Sunday 01 April 2018In most of my coding ,just the first 10 digits are used , but the other information is there just to make sure

2018-04-01 10:53:44

Dana Warkentin

That is great - but I need the EXACT opposite. I am sick and tired of non standard month-day-year date formats and I need the correct day-month-year format in Excel so I can work in peace!

2017-11-20 23:54:57

MIcheli Muzie

Thank you so much. I followed the steps and it worked!

2017-07-17 10:27:22


Lifesaver - thanks!

One suggestion though... in the 'Convert test to columns wizard' screenshot, the option selected is 'delimited', but the instructions say to choose 'fixed width'. Tripped me up for a second - maybe switch the screenshot to have the correct option selected?

Thanks so much, saved me hours of banging my head against the wall!

2017-02-24 12:43:57


This was a life saver. Thank you so much.

2017-02-07 06:23:50


I have a log date colum in excel that shows Date Month Year ..But I need to change it to US version of Month Date year so if I format a colum of cells to US version only half shows...So for Jan date only I am getting Feb,mar,april ect, All the days should on show Jan 1st to 31stin US format ..the above tip does not work for I doing something wrong

2016-12-02 10:42:44


Thanks. Is there a way to change the date for all my spreadsheets to be USA format rather then the cells each time?

2016-11-17 16:00:34


This worked great for the cells that were formatted as 'General'. However, the cells that are actual dates in European format cannot just be 'changed in the format' to US style dates. It does not read them correctly.

2016-10-28 11:17:33



2016-10-11 10:54:28

Irving Molina

The formula worked great Allen. It corrected the 01.9.2016 NUMBER format downloaded through SAP.

Thank you.

2016-09-27 19:14:55


I was able to change the cell format as it was in date values, converting from yyyy/mm/dd to mm/dd/yyyy but it is not changing the whole column. I have to double click on each cell for the format to do I avoid doing that and have the format change the whole column at once?


2016-08-26 07:07:31


Thank you very much! Always helpful

2016-07-19 11:29:16


This was very helpful. Thanks!

2016-06-02 13:54:41


You can also use this formula if you have several europen dates like 3/12/2016 or 30/12/2015 or 3/3/2007

i hope you find this also helpful

=DATE(VALUE(RIGHT(D3,4)), VALUE(MID(D3,FIND("/",D3)+1,FIND("/",D3,4)-FIND("/",D3)-1)), VALUE(LEFT(D3,FIND("/",D3)-1)))

2016-05-25 03:59:56


Needed this to sort a 2000 row spreadsheet for my European partner. Took all of 15 minutes, including the research. Priceless!!! Thank you so much.

2016-05-03 17:24:37


Very usefull tip, thanks a million.

2016-04-21 11:24:09



2016-04-06 00:54:10


Thank you so much for the Text To Columns tip, this has saved me a lot of time.

2016-01-29 12:07:48


Thanks for this tip...definitely helped me with my file containing hundreds of thousands of Euro times.

2016-01-08 19:01:23


Extremely helpful:


This was a brilliant tip.

Thank you, sincerely,

2015-09-20 19:45:09


this worked gr8! the convrt to DMY

2015-08-04 13:11:19


Hi, I don't know change the calendar on my Microsoft Access VBA.
I hae the date '12/Aug/2015' and want change to format brazilian '12/Ago/2015'.
Anyone knows how i do it?


2015-06-08 11:59:33

Mike O

one small issue..i had a text date reading 18/06/2015 but when i applied the formula, it returned a value of 6/18/ seemed to drop the year.
i checked and re-checked the formula you listed but cannot seem to figure out why it dropped the year..ideas?

2015-06-08 04:49:48


Great solution! Thanks.
In my specific situation I needed to convert a cell that was in this format:
3/26/2015 4:52:09 PM
26-Mar-15 16:52

I was struggling to avoid doing it manually.

- Leave one column break betweeen date/time
- Choose MDY
- Perfect!

2015-06-05 12:29:55



2015-04-15 21:28:18


Thanks, like others I have been trying to resolve this issue for a long time

2015-02-11 12:08:33


Whew - I was banging my head against this one for hours before I found your clear solution. Thanks!

2015-01-28 15:06:22


Thanks for a great tip!

2015-01-07 18:22:01



2014-09-25 15:49:51

Bill G.

What a simple and elegant solution to a problem that was driving me nuts.
Thank you so much

2014-09-04 11:59:56

James Moore


2014-06-10 12:38:17


Thank you

I was messing around with importing English dates from CSV file using "format cells - date function" I would have never thought to use "text to columns"

It worked

2013-08-13 10:40:19


Simple and effective, thanks!

2013-05-28 13:22:15


Thanks so much for the tip! I'm sifting through Salesforce data imports and you have saved me hours.

2012-11-12 05:24:22

Barry Fitzpatrick

If the dates ate already in "date" format then the value will be an Excel date serial number, in which case you need set the display format. To do this select the cells (or column) containing the dates, select format cells (or Ctrl+1), [change the "Locale" will give you different formats. If on your PC one of the standard date formats is not the one you want, then select "Custom" in the Category list, and enter "mm/dd/yy" in the "Type" box, then "OK".

If the entered dates are actually text, then you need to use a modified version of the formaula given in the tip. The only issue you might have is the century as yy could be 19yy or 20yy (or other). Excel will default to using this century. If some are in the last century then you'll have to decide on a rule and test for this accordingly. E.g. if yy>50 then the date is the last century.

2012-11-11 21:31:49


I have imported data which has dd/mm/yy format. However, my PC uses the mm/dd/yy format.
Owing to the large volume of the data which have dates in the dd/mm/yy format, how can i convert them mm/dd/yy without doing so manually. I urgently need to use the information but can't do so in the above format as my excel would read the dates differently.
The strings are in date format already

2012-11-10 07:15:20


Very useful tip
I downloaded 28000 rows with date, time and pH in cvs file type. In notepad I converted the cvs to txt format and opend this in Excel2007. I then separated the date choosing the / as separator as well as other separtors. All colums were defined as text. This done, the txt file was converted.

Then with the above mentioned formular i concaternated and produced the date serial number. The time was produced in similar manner (23:21) transformed to =Time((Value(Left(F2;2)));(value(Right(F2;2)));)
The whole exercise rest on keeping the original data in text format and working the data into the proper date:time formates.

2012-06-10 00:51:01


Thanks a lot for the tip, the formula works excellent!
I tried to use the Text to column feature but some dates are still text, what am I doing wrong?

2012-05-21 16:09:13

Kelly Carbon

Thank you for the extremely helpful tip. I work in SAP and this is going to save me hours of time sorting through data. Great job!

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