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# How to add date and time in Excel – Excelchat

Excel allows us to easily combine date and time through the use of simple arithmetic operations and some formatting adjustments.  This article provides a step-by-step tutorial on how to add date and time.

Figure 1.  Final result:  How to add date and time

## Date and time

Date has a different format as time.  To add time to a date, we must first understand how date and time are managed in Excel.  When we enter a date in a cell, say 16/05/2019, the date will be displayed with a pre-set format such as this:

Figure 2. Date in pre-set format

We might wonder, what is the default time of a date when we enter it on a cell?  To find out, let us change the format of the cell such that both the date and time are displayed.

• Enter the date in B4
• Select the cell and press Ctrl + 1 to launch the Format Cells dialog box
• In Format Cells, select Number tab > Custom > dd/mm/yyyy h:mm

Figure 3.  Format Cells dialog box

Cell B4 is now displaying the date and time for the date we have entered.  As shown below, the default time for a date is 0:00 or 12 midnight. This is key to understanding how to add date and time.

Figure 4.  Date in custom format showing the time

## How to add date and time?

Suppose we have a date in one cell and a time in another cell.  In order to add date and time, we simply enter the cell reference of date, a plus sign “+” for addition, then the cell reference for time.  For example, we enter the formula =B3+C3 in cell E3.

Figure 5.  Output: Add date and time

Column E shows the result when we add date and time using cell references.

Excel has a unique way of storing time, wherein one day has the value “1”.  Since there are 24 hours in a day, one hour is expressed as 1/24. Hence, when we want to add hours to a date, we divide the hours by 24, then add the resulting value to the date.

For example, we want to add 3 hours to the date in B3.  We enter the formula in E3:

`=B3+C3/24`

Figure 6.  Output: Add hours to date

Column E shows that we have successfully added the date and time in columns B and C.  In row 5, we want to add 24 hours to a date.  24 hours is equivalent to one day. Using our formula, we have obtained the result in E5, 17/05/2019, which is one day after the date 16/05/2019.

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