EDATE function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the EDATE function (function: A prewritten formula that takes a value or values, performs an operation, and returns a value or values. Use functions to simplify and shorten formulas on a worksheet, especially those that perform lengthy or complex calculations.) in Microsoft Excel.


Returns the serial number that represents the date that is the indicated number of months before or after a specified date (the start_date). Use EDATE to calculate maturity dates or due dates that fall on the same day of the month as the date of issue.


EDATE(start_date, months)

The EDATE function syntax has the following arguments (argument: A value that provides information to an action, an event, a method, a property, a function, or a procedure.):

  • Start_date    Required. A date that represents the start date. Dates should be entered by using the DATE function, or as results of other formulas or functions. For example, use DATE(2008,5,23) for the 23rd day of May, 2008. Problems can occur if dates are entered as text.
  • Months    Required. The number of months before or after start_date. A positive value for months yields a future date; a negative value yields a past date.


  • Microsoft Excel stores dates as sequential serial numbers so they can be used in calculations. By default, January 1, 1900 is serial number 1, and January 1, 2008 is serial number 39448 because it is 39,448 days after January 1, 1900.
  • If start_date is not a valid date, EDATE returns the #VALUE! error value.
  • If months is not an integer, it is truncated.


The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

ShowHow do I copy an example?

  1. Select the example in this article. If you are copying the example in Excel Online, copy and paste one cell at a time.
    Important: Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

Selecting an example from Help

  1. Press CTRL+C.
  2. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
  3. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V. If you are working in Excel Online, repeat copying and pasting for each cell in the example.
    Important: For the example to work properly, you must paste it into cell A1 of the worksheet.
  4. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.

After you copy the example to a blank worksheet, you can adapt it to suit your needs.




Formula Description (Result)
=EDATE(A2,1) The date, one month after the date above (February 15, 2008)
=EDATE(A2,-1) The date, one month before the date above (December 15, 2007)
=EDATE(A2,2) The date, two months after the date above (March 15, 2008)

 Note   To view the number as a date, select the cell, and then on the Home tab, in the Number group, click the arrow next to Number Format, and click Short Date or Long Date.

Applies to:
Excel 2010, Excel Web App, SharePoint Online for enterprises, SharePoint Online for professionals and small businesses