Insert the current date and time in a cell

Let's say you want to easily enter the current date and time while making a time log of activities. Or perhaps you want to display the current date and time automatically in a cell every time formulas are recalculated. You can either insert a date or time that doesn’t change or have it be updated.

Insert a date or time that doesn’t change

A static value is one that doesn’t change when the worksheet is recalculated or opened.

  1. On a worksheet, select the cell where you want to insert the current date or time.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To insert the date, type the date (like 2/2), and then click Home > Number Format >Short Date or Long Date.

    • To insert the time, type the time, and then click Home > Number Format >Time.

Insert a date or time that is updated

A date or time that updates when the worksheet is recalculated or the workbook is opened is considered “dynamic” instead of static. In a worksheet, the most common way to return a dynamic date or time in a cell is by using a function.

  • To insert the current date or time so that it is updatable, use the TODAY and NOW functions like shown in the table below. For more information about how to use these functions, see TODAY function and NOW function.

What to add to the cell

What you will see

=TODAY()

Current date (varies)

=NOW()

Current date and time (varies)

Note: The results of the TODAY and NOW functions change only when the worksheet is calculated or when a macro that contains the function is run. Cells that contain these functions aren’t updated continuously. The date and time used are taken from the computer's system clock.

Share Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Email Email

Was this information helpful?

Great! Any other feedback?

How can we improve it?

Thank you for your feedback!

×