How to Change the Date Format in Excel to MM/DD/YYYY: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing the date format in Excel to mm/dd/yyyy can be done by accessing the cell formatting options and selecting the desired date format from the list provided. It’s a simple task that can make your data more consistent and easier to read.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Change the Date Format in Excel to mm/dd/yyyy

Before we dive into the steps, let’s clarify what we’re aiming to do. Excel has a variety of date formats available, and by following these steps, we’ll be setting the format of our selected cells to the month/day/year format, commonly used in the United States.

Step 1: Select the Cells

Click and drag to highlight the cells you want to change.

When you select the cells, make sure to include all the cells with dates that you want to change. If you miss one, you’ll have to go back and do it again for the missed cells.

Step 2: Open Format Cells

Right-click on the selected cells and choose ‘Format Cells’ from the context menu.

The ‘Format Cells’ option is also accessible from the Home tab in the Ribbon. Just look for the ‘Number’ group and click on the small arrow in the corner.

Step 3: Choose Date Format

In the Format Cells dialog box, click the ‘Date’ category and select the mm/dd/yyyy format from the list.

You’ll see a variety of formats in the Date category, so make sure you scroll down if the mm/dd/yyyy option isn’t immediately visible.

Step 4: Apply the Format

Click ‘OK’ to apply the new format to the selected cells.

Once you click ‘OK,’ the format will change immediately. If your cells previously had dates in a different format, they should now display in the mm/dd/yyyy format.

After completing these steps, your selected cells should now display dates in the mm/dd/yyyy format. This will ensure consistency across your data and make it easier to read and understand for those who are accustomed to this format.

Tips: Changing the Date Format in Excel to mm/dd/yyyy

  • Always make sure you’ve selected the correct cells before changing the format. It’s easy to accidentally change the wrong cells.
  • You can use the Format Painter tool to quickly apply date formatting to other cells.
  • If you’re dealing with international dates, pay attention to the format you’re choosing. The mm/dd/yyyy format is common in the United States but may not be suitable elsewhere.
  • Remember, changing the date format doesn’t change the date itself, just how it’s displayed.
  • If your dates are not changing to the desired format, make sure they are recognized by Excel as dates and not text.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if the mm/dd/yyyy format isn’t listed in the Format Cells dialog box?

You can create a custom date format by selecting ‘Custom’ in the Category list and typing ‘mm/dd/yyyy’ into the Type field.

Can I change the date format for an entire column at once?

Yes, you can select the entire column by clicking on the column header and then follow the steps to change the date format.

Will changing the date format affect how Excel interprets my data?

No, it will only change how the date is displayed, not how Excel stores or calculates the date data.

How do I revert to the original date format?

Go back into the Format Cells dialog box and choose the original format from the Date category or select ‘General’ to remove any specific formatting.

What should I do if some of my dates are displayed as hashtags after changing the format?

This usually means the column is not wide enough to display the entire date. Simply make the column wider to fix this issue.


  1. Select the cells you want to format.
  2. Right-click and open ‘Format Cells.’
  3. Choose the ‘Date’ category and select mm/dd/yyyy.
  4. Click ‘OK’ to apply the format.


Excel is a powerful tool that can make data management a breeze, but the devil is often in the details. Knowing how to change the date format in Excel to mm/dd/yyyy is one such detail that can make a world of difference in the readability and professionalism of your spreadsheets. It’s a quick and easy process that can save you from a lot of confusion down the line, especially when sharing your data with colleagues or clients who may be used to this particular date format.

So, go ahead and give it a try! Once you’ve mastered this simple yet crucial skill, you’ll find that it’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Excel can do for you. And if you ever find yourself stuck, remember that there’s a vast community of Excel users and a wealth of online resources ready to help you out. Excel on, data warriors!

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