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Convert decimal hours to Excel time

Excel formula: Convert decimal hours to Excel time
Generic formula 

To convert hours in decimal format to a valid Excel time, divide by 24. In the example shown the formula in C5 is:


which returns 0.04167, the equivalent of 1 hours. Cell D6 shows the same result formatted as time, which displays 1:00.


In the Excel date system, one day is equal to 1, so you can think of time as fractional values of 1, as shown in the table below:

Hours Fraction Value Time
1 1/24 0.04167 1:00
3 3/24 0.125 3:00
6 6/24 0.25 6:00
4 4/24 0.167 4:00
8 8/24 0.333 8:00
12 12/24 0.5 12:00
18 18/24 0.75 18:00
21 21/24 0.875 21:00

This means if you have a decimal number for hours, you can simply divide by 24 to get the correct representation of hours in Excel. After dividing by 24, you can apply a time format of your choice, or use the result in a math operation with other dates or times.

In the example, since B10 contains 12 (representing 12 hours) the result is 12/24 = 0.5, since there are 12 hours in a half of day. Once a time format like h:mm has been applied, Excel will display 12:00.

Durations longer than 24 hours

To display hours that represent a duration longer than 24 hours, you'll need to adjust the number format. Just wrap the h in square brackets like so:


To display in minutes, you can do the same thing with m:


The brackets tell Excel the time is a duration, and not a time of day. This article explains number formats in more detail.

Dave Bruns

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