# DAYS Function – Google Sheets

The DAYS function is a simple date function that calculates the number of days between two dates.

The function returns a negative number if the start and end dates are reversed.

Calculating the difference between two days with the `-` operator or MINUS function produces the same result unless the `end_date` or `start_date` contain times. Using subtraction can result in a fraction of a day, while using the DAYS function ignores times and always returns whole numbers. Use the TIMEDIF Google Sheets add-on for fully formatted durations between two times, such as “2 years 1 week 5 hours.”

Before reading the examples below, ensure you know how dates and times work, as a large part of using date functions correctly is understanding what makes up a valid date. If you do not provide valid dates, the formula will error.

## Purpose

The DAYS function returns the number of days between two dates.

DATEDIF – Calculates the time between two dates in years, months, days, or a combination thereof. Use this for a more flexible alternative.

MINUS – Subtracts one value from another. You can use this function with dates.

NETWORKDAYS – Calculates the number of workdays between two dates.

NETWORKDAYS.INTL – Calculates the number of workdays between two dates. NETWORKDAYS.INTL can exclude holidays if you provide them. This function is a more flexible version of NETWORKDAYS.

Calculate any duration in:

• Years
• Months
• Weeks
• Days
• Hours
• Minutes
• Seconds
• Milliseconds

## Errors

#NUM – The inputs are numbers but are not valid dates. If you used the 35th day of November, “11/35/2018”, your dates would be invalid.

#VALUE! – The inputs don’t convert to a number such as “The other day” or “Yester-yester-day”.

## Syntax

`=DAYS(end_date,start_date)`

Note that the function wants the ending date first, then the starting date.

## Examples

Below are a few simple examples of the function working well in a spreadsheet.

Next, let’s look at a few examples of the function breaking down.

For output including years and months, consider using the DATEDIF function.

### Live Examples in Sheets

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