The EDATE function takes a starting date and a number as its input. It then increments (or decrements) the date by the number of months that you specify. If the number of months that you provide has decimals, it is truncated instead of rounded so keep it as a whole number. Dates require special care when being used in formulas as they don't behave like regular numbers do in spreadsheets.

This formula can be useful due to the fact that not all months have the same number of days. Additionally, February has a different number of days depending on the year. The EDATE function accounts for all of these differences.


Video showing the EDATE function

Purpose

The EDATE function add or subtracts a given number of months to a given date.

Syntax

=EDATE(start date,number of months)

  • start date - The starting date from which the calculation begins. Remember how dates work in formulas so that you know how to enter this date.
  • number of months - The number of the month by which to increase/decrease the starting month

Examples

Example 1 - Plain and Simple

A simple example of the EDATE function.

Formula Description Result
=EDATE("5/17/2017",13) Add 13 months to 5/17/2017 6/17/2018
=EDATE("5/17/2017",-2) Subtract 2 months from 5/17/2017 3/17/2017

The EDATE function can go forward and backward in time.

Example 2 - Knowing the number of days in a month

This example shows how the EDATE function knows the number of days in each month. This takes away the chore of manually adding the different numbers of days.

Note that this function is DATE and not EDATE.
Formula Description Result
=EDATE("5/17/2017",3) Add 3 months to 5/17/2017 8/17/2017
=DATE(2017,5,17)+31+30+31 Add 3 months to 5/17/2017 8/17/2017

Note how much easier it is to use the EDATE function.

Example 3 - Days in a leap year

The EDATE function knows the number of days in a leap year. Note the two dates highlighted below that are one day different.

Formula Description Result
=EDATE("2/17/2015",1) Add 1 month to 2/17/2015 3/17/2015
=EDATE("2/17/2016",1) Add 1 month to 2/17/2016 3/17/2016
=DATE(2015,2,17)+28 Add 28 days to 2/17/2015 3/17/2015
=DATE(2016,2,17)+28 Add 28 days to 2/17/2016 3/16/2016

 Live examples in Sheets 

Go to this spreadsheet for the examples of the EDATE function shown above that you can study and use anywhere you would like.