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How to stop Excel from auto formatting dates in CSV?

Author: Sun Last Modified: 2022-10-08

Here is a CSV file which contains the dates as text format “12-May-20”, but when you open the CSV file through Excel, the text “12-May-20” will be auto stored as dates as below screenshot shown. In this tutorial, it will tell you how to stop Excel from auto formatting dates in csv.
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Note: the methods provided in this tutorial are tested in Excel 2021, there may be some different in different Excel verisions.

Save the csv file as a text file then import

Open the CSV file through Notepad and click File > Save as to, in the Save as dialog, choose a folder to place the file, and select Text document (*.txt) from the Save as type.
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2. Enable Excel, click Data > From Text/CSV, then choose the text file you save just now, and click Import.
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3. In the popping dialog, click Transform Data button to enable the Power Query Editor window.
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4. Select the column that you want to keep text format. And then go to Data Type in the Transform group, and choose Text, and the Change Column Type dialog pops out, and choose Replace current or Add new step button as you need.
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5. click Close & Load to load the data into a new sheet.
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If you are in Excel 2010 or earlier versions, there is no Power Query, you need to do as follow:

2. After saving the csv as text file, click File > Open > Browse to choose the text file you want to import.
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3. A Text Import Wizard dialog pops out, check Delimited option, then click Next button.
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4. In the step 2 of 3, check Comma option, click Next.
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5. In the step 3of 3, select the date column, and check Text option, this will make the dates stored texts in Excel. Click Finish.
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Now a new workbook opened and stored the data of text file.
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