# How to Calculate the Difference Between Dates in Excel

To calculate the difference between two dates in Excel, you can use the DATEDIF function or simply subtract one date from another. In this tutorial, we will discuss both methods.

## Method 1: Using the DATEDIF function

The DATEDIF function calculates the difference between two dates in years, months, or days. The syntax for this function is:

`DATEDIF(start_date, end_date, unit)`

Where:

`start_date`

: The start date.`end_date`

: The end date.`unit`

: The unit of time you want to calculate the difference in. This can be one of the following values: "Y" (years), "M" (months), "D" (days), "YM" (months excluding years), "YD" (days excluding years), or "MD" (days excluding months and years).

Follow these steps:

- Open Excel and enter the start date in one cell (e.g., A1) and the end date in another cell (e.g., B1).
- In a new cell (e.g., C1), type the DATEDIF formula with the appropriate unit. For example:

`=DATEDIF(A1, B1, "D")`

This will calculate the difference between the two dates in days.

## Method 2: Subtracting one date from another

You can also calculate the difference between two dates by simply subtracting the start date from the end date. This will give you the difference in days. Here's how:

- Open Excel and enter the start date in one cell (e.g., A1) and the end date in another cell (e.g., B1).
- In a new cell (e.g., C1), type a formula that subtracts the start date from the end date:

`=B1 - A1`

This will give you the difference between the two dates in days. Note that this method only calculates the difference in days, unlike the DATEDIF function, which can also calculate the difference in years and months.

## Example

Let's see an example using both methods to calculate the difference between two dates.

- Open Excel and enter the start date (e.g., 01/01/2021) in cell A1 and the end date (e.g., 12/31/2021) in cell B1.
- To calculate the difference using the DATEDIF function, type the following formula in cell C1:

`=DATEDIF(A1, B1, "D")`

This will give you the difference between the two dates in days (365).

- To calculate the difference by subtracting one date from another, type the following formula in cell D1:

`=B1 - A1`

This will also give you the difference between the two dates in days (365).