## Purpose

## Return value

## Syntax

`=EDATE(start_date,months)`

*start_date*- Start date as a valid Excel date.*months*- Number of months before or after start_date.

## How to use

The EDATE function can add or subtract whole months from a date. You can use EDATE to calculate expiration dates, contract dates, due dates, anniversary dates, retirement dates, and other dates in the future or past. The EDATE function takes two arguments: *start_date* and *months*. *Start_date* must be a valid Excel date. The *months* argument specifies how many months in the future or past to move – use a positive number to move forward in time, and a negative number to move back in time.

EDATE will return a serial number corresponding to a date. To display the result as a date, apply a number format of your choice.

*Note: The EDATE function returns the same day of the month n months in the past or future. Use the EOMONTH function to return the last day of the month n months in the past or future. *

### Example #1 - Basic usage

If A1 contains the date February 1, 2018, you can use EDATE like this:

```
=EDATE(A1,1) // returns March 1, 2018
=EDATE(A1,3) // returns May 1, 2018
=EDATE(A1,-1) // returns January 1, 2018
=EDATE(A1,-2) // returns December 1, 2017
```

### Example #2 - 6 months from today

To use EDATE with today's date, you can combine it with the TODAY function. For example, to create a date exactly 6 months from today, you can use:

```
=EDATE(TODAY(),6) // 6 months from today
```

### Example #3 - Move by years

To use the EDATE function to move by years, multiply by 12. For example, to move a date forward 2 years, you can use either of these formulas:

```
=EDATE(A1,24) // forward 2 years
=EDATE(A1,2*12) // forward 2 years
```

The second form is handy when you already have a value for years in another cell and want to convert to months inside EDATE.

### Example #4 - End of month

EDATE is clever about rolling "end of month" dates forwards or backwards, and will adjust year, month, and day values as necessary. For example EDATE will maintain the last day of month when a day is 31:

```
=EDATE("31-Jan-2019",1) // returns 28-Feb-2019
=EDATE("31-Jan-2019",2) // returns 31-Mar-2019
=EDATE("31-Jan-2019",3) // returns 30-Apr-2019
=EDATE("31-Jan-2019",4) // returns 31-May-2019
=EDATE("31-Jan-2019",5) // returns 30-Jun-2019
```

EDATE will also respect leap years:

```
=EDATE("31-Jan-2020",1) // returns 29-Feb-2020
```

However, EDATE will not maintain an end of month when the day value is less than 31. For example:

```
=EDATE("28-Feb-2019",1) // returns 28-Mar-2019
```

If an end-of-month date is a requirement, the EOMONTH function is a better option.

### Example #5 - EDATE with time

The EDATE function will strip times from dates that include time (sometimes called a "datetime"). To preserve the time in a date, you can use a formula like this:

```
=EDATE(A1,n)+MOD(A1,1)
```

Here, the MOD function is used to extract the time from the date in A1 and add it back to the result from EDATE.

See below for more examples of formulas that use the EDATE function.

### Notes

- EDATE will return the #VALUE error if the start date is not a valid date.
- If the start date has a fractional time attached, it will be removed.
- If the months argument contains a decimal value, it will be removed.
- To calculate an end of month date, see the EOMONTH function.
- EDATE returns a date serial number, which must be formatted as a date.