YEAR Function – Google Sheets

The YEAR function is a simple date function that extracts just the year from a time value. If you work with times but only care about the years, this function lets you get rid of everything else. Remember that dates are just saved as numbers by your spreadsheet with date formatting applied.

YEAR function screen capture

This function is rarely used on its own. Typically, it is nested inside other functions such as DATE to provide its output as one part of a date or time.

Purpose

The YEAR function returns the year’s value from any given unit of time.

Video Explanations

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Video Showing How to Use Dates and Times
Video thumbnail
YouTube Video Showing How Dates and Time Work

Syntax

=YEAR(time)

Common Errors

#VALUE! – An invalid date was passed to the function such as "1/32/2022". The month of January does not have 32 days.

#ERROR! – Formula parse error. The input to the function could not be used such as a date with too many slashes. – 1//21/2222.

#NUM! – Result was not a number. The number is too large to resolve to a date. – (548748511).

The output is an unexpected format such as 12:00 AM. – This means the formatting is incorrect, not the underlying number. Change the formatting to Number.

Examples

Example 1 – Plain and Simple

First, here are a few simple examples.

FormulaDescriptionResult
=YEAR("1/2016")Extract the year value from 1/2016.2016
=YEAR("1/31/2016")Extract the year value from 1/31/2016.2016
=YEAR("2016")Extract the year value from 20161905

Tip: Notice that the YEAR function can’t figure out that the number 2016 refers to a year when typed alone in a cell. See how dates and times work to make a little sense out of this.

Example 2 – Separating the Values of a Date and Time

Different date values examined using various functions.

Time valueTickmarkYEARMONTHDAYHOURMINUTESECONDFormatted as number
7/30/20161201673000042,581.00
7-30-20162201673000042,581.00
6/1/2017 2:32 PM32017611432042,887.61
July 31, 20164201673100042,582.00
12:30 PM518991230123000.52
4/11/2017 11:24:146201741111241442,836.48
4/11/20177201741100042,836.00
818991230000
19189912310001.00
0.2510189912306000.25
4300011201792200043,000.00
  • 1 A random date typed in using slashes.
  • 2 A random date typed in using dashes. Note that it is processed the same way as the date with slashes.
  • 3 Typed a random date in and added a time. Now the function extracts the hours and minutes.
  • 4 Typed in a date but spelled out. Writing out the date also works, but it won’t work if you write the day as “31st” instead of 31.
  • 5 If you only type in a time, the “zero” date is 12/30/1899.
  • 6 Entered with the NOW function. The output will constantly change in the linked Google Sheet.
  • 7 Entered with the TODAY function. The output will change daily in the linked Google Sheet.
  • 8 A blank cell is December 30, 1899. Similar to tickmark 5.
  • 9 Typing a 1 will increment the value in number 10 above by 1 day. In other words, “1=12/31/1899”. It is just a matter of how it is displayed, which can be controlled by going to the Format menu and choosing Number.
  • 10 Just a decimal with no whole number increments the value by hours, minutes, and seconds instead of days.
  • 11 To get near the current date, you need to start with 43,000 days away from 12/30/1899.

Live Examples in Sheets

Go to this spreadsheet for the examples of the time functions shown above that you can study and use anywhere you want.

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