Summary

To convert a Unix timestamp to Excel's date format, you can use a formula based on the DATE function. In the example shown, the formula in C5 is:

``````=(B5/86400)+DATE(1970,1,1)
``````

Generic formula

``=(A1/86400)+DATE(1970,1,1)``

Explanation

The Unix time stamp tracks time as a running count of seconds. The count begins at the "Unix Epoch" on January 1st, 1970, so a Unix timestamp is simply the total seconds between any given date and the Unix Epoch. Since a day contains 86400 seconds (24 hours x 60 minutes x 60 seconds), conversion to Excel time can be done by dividing days by 86400 and adding the date value for January 1st, 1970.

In the example shown, the formula first divides the time stamp value in B5 by 86400, then adds the date value for the Unix Epoch, January 1, 1970. The formula evaluates like this:

``````=(B5/86400)+DATE(1970,1,1)
=(1538352000/86400)+25569
=43374
``````

When C5 is formatted with the Excel date "d-mmm-yyyy", the date is displayed as 1-Oct-2018.

Time zones

A Unix timestamp represents the number of seconds that have elapsed since January 1, 1970, 00:00:00 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time), regardless of the time zone. UTC is a universal measure of time that is independent of any particular time zone or daylight-saving time rules. After converting a Unix timestamp to an Excel date/time, you can use a formula like this to convert to a particular time zone.

How Excel tracks dates and time

The Excel date system starts on January 1, 1900 and counts forward. The table below shows the numeric values associated with a few random dates:

Date Raw value
1-Jan-1900 1
28-Jul-1914 00:00 5323
1-Jan-1970 00:00 25569
31-Dec-1999 36525
1-Oct-2018 43374
1-Oct-2018 12:00 PM 43374.5

Notice the last date includes a time as well. Since one day equals 1, and one day equals 24 hours, time in Excel can represented as fractional values of 1, as shown in the table below. In order to see the value displayed as a time, a time format needs to be applied.

Hours Time Fraction Value
3 3:00 AM 3/24 0.125
6 6:00 AM 6/24 0.25
4 4:00 AM 4/24 0.167
8 8:00 AM 8/24 0.333
12 12:00 PM 12/24 0.5
18 6:00 PM 18/24 0.75
21 9:00 PM 21/24 0.875
24 12:00 AM 24/24 1

Author

Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.