Difference Between Two Times in Seconds Using Google Sheets

You can find the total seconds between two times in Google Sheets in many ways. We’ll cover the two easiest.

Preparation – Properly Format Your Times

Before you use the formulas in this tutorial, ensure your times are valid. If the times are invalid, they aren’t numbers, so these steps won’t work.

List of valid date/times
Valid Dates

As shown above, you can use the ISDATE function to check each time.

Calculations – Find the Difference Between Two Times in Seconds

You can find the seconds once your data is ready using these easy formulas. Each technique has different advantages.

Time duration in seconds
Duration in Seconds

First formula: =ROUND((B2-A2)*24*60*60)

The most simple formula simple subtracts the starting time from the ending time. When you subtract two times in Google Sheets, the result is the number of days between them. Since you are looking for seconds instead of days, multiply this difference by 24 to get to hours, by 60 to arrive at minutes, then by 60 to arrive at seconds.

Second formula: =TEXT(B3-A3,"[S]")&" seconds")

This next formula converts the result to a text string using the TEXT function. Using a text string allows you to add the unit to the end of the result to make it clear to the spreadsheet reader. So, as seen in the image above, the result is shown as 80548 minutes instead of just 80,548.00.

⚠️ Be sure to add the square brackets around the [S] if you are calculating a longer duration. These brackets change the format from a point in time to a duration. This allows the seconds to exceed 60.

Practice – Get a Copy of the Template

Make a copy of this template to see the examples in a live Google Sheet.

Advanced – Use TIMEDIF for Other Time Units

If you want a more complex output, such as years, weeks, or months, consider using the TIMEDIF add-on.

TIMEDIF will calculate the duration between two times without using any formulas. Once you install the add-on, pick the units you want, and it will do the rest.

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