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Excel Formula: Calculate difference between two times

Author: Sun Last Modified: 2020-08-27

 doc calculate difference between time 5

To calculate the difference between two times, this tutorial provides a simple formula and also explains how to use it in Excel.

If you want to follow along with this tutorial, please download the example spreadsheet.
doc sample

Generic formula:

IF(time2>time1,time2-time1,time1-time)

Arguments

Time1, time2: the two times you want to calculate the difference.

Return value

This formula returns a numeric value, between 0-1.

How this formula work

To calculate the difference between time 1 and time 2 in cell B3 and B4, please use below formula:

=IF(C3>B3,C3-B3,B3-C3)

Press Enter key to get the number.
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Format the cell to a time format you want by pressing Ctrl + 1 to open the Format Cells dialog, then choose a time format.
doc calculate difference between time 3

Then drag autofill handle over cells that need to calculate difference of times.
doc calculate difference between time 5

Explanation

IF function: Perform a simple logical test depending on the comparison result, and it returns one value if a result is TRUE, or another value if result is FALSE.

As if the difference between two times is a negative value, Excel will display it as #####. For avoiding this, we use IF function. Supposing time2 is larger than time1, then it displays the result as time2 -time1, if does not match this condition, it shows the result as time1-time2.

Note:

This formula cannot handle durations greater than 24 hours.


Relative Formulas

Relative Functions


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