Have you ever needed to calculate the number of months between two dates in Excel? Whether you're working on a project, managing finances, or analyzing data, knowing how to calculate the month difference can be incredibly useful. In this tutorial, we'll explore different methods to calculate the number of months between two dates in Excel. Let's dive right in!
Method 1: Using the DATEDIF Function
The easiest way to calculate the number of months between two dates in Excel is by using the DATEDIF
function. This function calculates the difference between two dates in various units, including months.
The syntax for the DATEDIF
function is as follows:
=DATEDIF(start_date, end_date, "M")
Here's an example to illustrate how to use the DATEDIF
function:
=DATEDIF(A1, B1, "M")
In this example, A1
represents the start date, and B1
represents the end date. The third argument, "M"
, tells Excel to calculate the difference in months.
Let's say we have the following dates:
Start Date  End Date 

20220101  20221231 
To calculate the number of months between these two dates, we can use the DATEDIF
function:
=DATEDIF(A2, B2, "M")
The result will be 11
, indicating that there are 11 months between the start and end dates.
You can use the DATEDIF
function in various scenarios. For example, you can calculate the number of months between a project's start and end dates, track the duration of a subscription, or analyze the length of time between two events.
Method 2: Using the YEAR and MONTH Functions
Another way to calculate the number of months between two dates in Excel is by using the YEAR
and MONTH
functions. This method involves extracting the year and month components from the dates and then performing calculations based on those components.
Here's an example to demonstrate this method:
=(YEAR(end_date)  YEAR(start_date)) * 12 + (MONTH(end_date)  MONTH(start_date))
Let's use the same example as before:
Start Date  End Date 

20220101  20221231 
To calculate the number of months between these two dates using the YEAR
and MONTH
functions, we can use the following formula:
=(YEAR(B2)  YEAR(A2)) * 12 + (MONTH(B2)  MONTH(A2))
The result will be 11
, just like in the previous method.
This method provides more flexibility as you can perform additional calculations based on the extracted year and month components. For example, you can calculate the number of years and months between two dates by modifying the formula accordingly.
Method 3: Using the EDATE Function
The third method to calculate the number of months between two dates in Excel is by using the EDATE
function. This function adds or subtracts a specified number of months to a given date.
The syntax for the EDATE
function is as follows:
=EDATE(start_date, months)
Here's an example to illustrate how to use the EDATE
function:
=EDATE(A1, 1)
In this example, A1
represents the start date, and 1
represents the number of months to add. The result will be the date that is one month after the start date.
To calculate the number of months between two dates using the EDATE
function, you can subtract the start date from the end date and divide the result by the number of days in a month:
=(end_date  start_date) / 30
Let's use the same example as before:
Start Date  End Date 

20220101  20221231 
To calculate the number of months between these two dates using the EDATE
function, we can use the following formula:
=(B2  A2) / 30
The result will be 11
, just like in the previous methods.
Additional Tips and Considerations

When using the
DATEDIF
function, keep in mind that it may return unexpected results if the end date is earlier than the start date. To avoid this, you can use anIF
statement to check if the end date is greater than or equal to the start date before calculating the difference. 
If you need to calculate the number of months between two dates excluding the partial months, you can use the
INT
function to round down the result. 
Remember to format the cells containing the formulas as numbers to ensure the correct display of the results.

Excel stores dates as serial numbers, with January 1, 1900, being the starting point (serial number 1). This allows for easy calculations and manipulations of dates.
Related Content
Now that you know how to calculate the number of months between two dates in Excel, you can apply this knowledge to various scenarios. Whether you're managing projects, tracking subscriptions, or analyzing data, these methods will help you get the month difference quickly and accurately. Happy calculating!
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