The Excel NOW function returns the current date and time, updated continuously when a worksheet is changed or opened. The NOW function takes no arguments. You can format the value returned by NOW as a date, or as a date with time by applying a number format.


Get the current date and time

Return value 

A number representing the current date and time in Excel.



How to use 

NOW takes no parameters but requires empty parentheses. The value returned by NOW will continually update each time the worksheet is updated, for example, each time a value is entered or changed. Use F9 to force the worksheet to recalculate and update the value.

The value returned by the NOW function is a standard Excel date, including a fractional value for time. To display the result as a date, apply a date number format. Optionally customize the number format to include the time. If you want the current date without a time value, use the TODAY function.


The examples below show how the NOW function can be used in various ways:

=NOW()  // current date and time
=NOW()-7  // last week same time
=NOW()+7  // next week same time
=NOW()+90  // 90 days from now
=MROUND(NOW()+90,"1:00")  // 90 days from now to nearest hour
=EDATE(NOW(),3)  // 3 months from now, time removed
=EDATE(NOW(),12)  // 12 months from now, time removed
=EOMONTH(NOW(),-1)+1  // first day of current month
=EDATE(NOW(),6)+MOD(NOW(),6)  // 6 months from now, time preserved

Static date and time

If you need a static date and time that won't change,  you can use the following shortcuts:

To enter both values in a single cell, enter the date, a space, then the time.

Formatting results

The result of NOW is a serial number representing an Excel date and time. You can format the value returned by TODAY using any standard date format. You can use the TEXT function to build a text message that includes the current date:

="The date is "&TEXT(NOW(),"mmm d")&" and the time is "&
TEXT(NOW(),"h:mm AM/PM")

To return a text string like "The date is May 31 and the time is 6:10 PM".

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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.