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How to change date and time format across all Excel worksheets

How to change date and time format in Excel

Changing date and time format in Excel can be tricky. Sometimes you end up with a spreadsheet where dates display in multiple different formats, e.g. 2020-08-03, 4-Aug-20, 8/5/20, etc. How can you get these dates to display uniformly across worksheets, e.g. in the date format dd/mm/yyyy?

The Unify Date Format feature will help find all date or time cells, and change their format at once:

  • Change date cells only, time cells only, or date & time cells
  • Unify format across ranges, worksheets and workbooks
  • Choose from preset format options or set any custom format

Before you begin, add Unify Date Format to Excel

Unify Date Format is one of the 20+ features within XLTools Add-in for Excel. Works in Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, desktop Office 365.

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– free trial gives you 14 days of full access to all features.

How to change date format in Excel

  1. XLTools tab In the Date & Time group, open the drop-down list Click Unify date and time format.
    Click Unify date format in the drop-down menu
  2. Choose to find all cells that are Date.
  3. Specify where to search:

    • Selected range
    • This worksheet
    • This workbook
    • All open workbooks
  4. Select the preferred format:

    • Choose from preset formats, e.g. the customary in your country or language
    • Or set your custom date format
Tip: the preview at the bottom gives an example of how dates will display in cells. The preview uses the current date as an example.

5. Click OK Done! All date cells have the same format now.
Specify date format settings

How to change time format in Excel

  1. XLTools tab In the Date & Time group, open the drop-down list Click Unify date and time format.
  2. Choose to find all cells that are Time.
  3. Specify where to search:

    • Selected range
    • This worksheet
    • This workbook
    • All open workbooks
  4. Select the preferred format:

    • Choose from preset formats, e.g. the customary in your country or language
    • Or set your custom time format
Tip: the preview at the bottom gives an example of how time will display in cells. The preview uses the current time as an example.

5. Click OK Done! All time cells have the same format now.
Specify time format settings

How to change date & time format in Excel

  1. XLTools tab In the Date & Time group, open the drop-down list Click Unify date and time format.
  2. Choose to find all cells that are Date & Time.
  3. Specify where to search:

    • Selected range
    • This worksheet
    • This workbook
    • All open workbooks
  4. Select the preferred format:

    • Choose from preset formats, e.g. the customary in your country or language
    • Or set your custom date & time format
Tip: the preview at the bottom gives an example of how date & time will display in cells. The preview uses the current date and time as an example.

5. Click OK Done! All cells with date & time values have the same format now.
Specify date and time format settings

If date format does not change

The Unify Date Format feature will only process cells which are formatted as date or time. If some cells remain unchanged, it means that these cells are not recognized by Excel as date or time. Most likely these cells have general, text, or number format.

Then you need to apply date format to the unrecognized cells:

  • Apply date format manually:

    Select cell Right-click and select Format Cells On the Number tab, select Date (or Time) Apply necessary format Enter the date manually if necessary.

  • Or, use the Popup Calendar:

    Select cell Right-click and select Insert Date Select the required date from the date picker The date will be inserted, and the cell will get date format automatically.

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