How to Add Months to a Date in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding months to a date in Excel might sound a bit tricky, but it’s actually quite simple once you get the hang of it. All you need to do is use the EDATE function. This handy little formula allows you to calculate a date that is a certain number of months before or after a specified date. It’s perfect for managing deadlines, project timelines, or even figuring out when that gym membership expires. So, let’s dive in and learn how to master this useful Excel skill!

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Add Months to a Date in Excel

Before we jump into the steps, let’s quickly talk about what we’re aiming to achieve. By following these instructions, you’ll be able to input a start date and the number of months you want to add, and Excel will magically give you the new date. Sounds good? Let’s do this!

Step 1: Select the cell where you want the new date to appear

Click on the cell where you want the calculated date to be displayed.

This cell is where the result will show up once we use the EDATE function. Make sure it’s formatted as a date to avoid any confusing number jumbles.

Step 2: Type the EDATE function

Type in “=EDATE(” to begin your formula.

This is where the magic begins. Typing “=” tells Excel that you’re about to give it a formula to calculate something. “EDATE” is the specific function we’ll use to add months to a date.

Step 3: Add the starting date

After “EDATE(“, input the cell reference that contains the starting date, or type in the date directly using quotation marks.

For example, if your starting date is in cell A1, you would type “A1,”. If you’re typing the date directly, it should look like this: “1/15/2021,”.

Step 4: Add the number of months

After the starting date, type a comma and then the number of months you want to add.

This number can be positive to add months or negative if you want to go back in time. No DeLorean required!

Step 5: Close the formula and hit Enter

Finish off the formula with a closing parenthesis and press the Enter key.

And just like that, your new date should appear in the selected cell. If it doesn’t, double-check your formula for any typos.

After completing these steps, the new date, which is the specified number of months away from the original date, will be displayed in the cell you selected. This can be incredibly useful for planning ahead or looking back.

Tips for Adding Months to a Date in Excel

  • Always ensure that the cell where you’re inputting the function is formatted as a date to avoid any confusion.
  • If you want to subtract months instead of adding, simply insert a negative number for the number of months.
  • Remember that Excel stores dates as serial numbers, so if the cell isn’t formatted correctly, you might see a strange number instead of a date.
  • You can copy the EDATE formula across cells if you want to perform the same calculation with different dates.
  • If the calculated date doesn’t look right, check your computer’s date settings to ensure that Excel is using the correct date format.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the EDATE function?

The EDATE function is an Excel formula used to calculate a date that is a certain number of months away from a specific start date.

Can I use the EDATE function to subtract months from a date?

Yes, by using a negative number for the months, you can find a date that is that many months before the start date.

What should I do if the EDATE function isn’t working?

First, make sure you’ve typed the formula correctly and that the cell is formatted as a date. If it’s still not working, try checking your Excel settings or updating your version of Excel.

Is there a way to add years to a date in Excel?

Yes, you can add years by using the DATE function and adding the number of years to the year portion of the date.

Can I add days or weeks to a date in Excel?

Yes, you can add days by simply using the “+” operator and adding the number of days. For weeks, multiply the number of weeks by 7 and then add that to the start date.


  1. Select the cell for the new date.
  2. Type “=EDATE(“.
  3. Add the starting date.
  4. Add the number of months.
  5. Close the formula and press Enter.


And there you have it, adding months to a date in Excel is as easy as pie—or should I say, as easy as EDATE? With these simple steps, you can start planning and organizing your schedule with ease. Whether it’s for keeping track of project milestones, managing subscriptions, or just figuring out what date it’ll be in a few months, the EDATE function is your go-to solution. Remember the tips and FAQs we’ve covered, and you’ll be an Excel wizard in no time. So go ahead, give it a try, and watch as your dates magically calculate themselves. Excel truly is a powerful tool that, when harnessed correctly, can make life a whole lot easier.

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