DAYS Function – Google Sheets

The DAYS function is a simple date function that calculates the length of time between two dates. The same result can be arrived at by subtracting two dates: ="7/31/2016"-"6/5/1991". If the start and end dates are rervsed, the function returns a negative number.

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 a valid date, the formula will error.


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

DAYS function screen capture

Related functions

DATEDIF – Calculate the length of time between two dates. Use this for a more flexible alternative.

MINUS – Subtract 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.


#NUM – The inputs are numbers but are not valid dates. If you used the 35th day of November, “11/352018”, your dates would be invalid.

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



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

Video Explanation

YouTube Video Explaining the DAYS Function


Below are a few simple examples of the function being used in a spreadsheet.

=DAYS("7/31/2017","7/30/2016")Number of days between 7/30/2016 and 7/31/2017366
=DAYS("1/7/2020","12/5/2015")Number of days between 12/5/2015 and 1/7/20201,494
=DAYS(C3,"2/9/1994")Number of days between 3/5/2001 (assuming that the value was in C3) and 2/9/1994-2,581

Live examples in Sheets

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

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