The DATEVALUE function accepts a date value in any valid format and returns it as a *serial number*. Spreadsheets store dates and times as serial numbers in Google Sheets, so they work in formulas (you can add March plus June).

You can use the DATEVALUE function to prepare dates to be sorted, filtered, or used in formulas.

*The input for this function must be surrounded by quotes or be a cell reference.*

Contents

## Purpose

The DATEVALUE function returns a serial number from any valid date.

## Syntax

`=DATEVALUE(date_text)`

`date_text`

– The date, written in a text format, for the function to convert

## Related functions

TIMEVALUE – Converts a time to a numeric value similar to DATEVALUE

YEAR – Returns the year value from a date

MONTH – Returns the month value from a date

DAY – Returns the day value from a date

**TIMEDIF **– Google Sheets Add-On

Calculate any duration in:

- Years
- Months
- Weeks
- Days

- Hours
- Minutes
- Seconds
- Milliseconds

## Errors

`#VALUE!` – The inputs aren’t a valid date, such as “A minute ago” or “Then.”

`#NUM!` – An input is a number but is not a valid date.

## Examples

### Example 1 – Plain and Simple

Formula | Result |

`=DATEVALUE("March 1, 2017")` | March 1, 2017 |

We have a date value that Sheets recognizes to return a serial number. In this case, we set the formatting to Date to show the serial number as March 1, 2017. If you set the formatting to number, the result of the function would be 42,795.00.

### Example 2 – Unrecognized Text Date

Formula | Result |

`=DATEVALUE("March 1st, 2017")` | #VALUE! |

Secondly, a full date typed as 1st instead of 1 returns a #VALUE! error. The #VALUE! error occurs whenever Sheets cannot figure out the text date.

### Example 3 – Just a Day and Month

Formula | Result |

`=DATEVALUE("March 1")` | March 1, 2022 |

Just a day and a month typed in. The spreadsheet assumes the date should be the current year when we updated this article in 2022. The year value will always be the present year when viewed in the live spreadsheet.

### Example 4 – Used in an employee timesheet

Last, below is an example of this function creating an employee timesheet.

### Live examples in Sheets

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