How to Use the TODAY Function in Excel

The TODAY function will return the current date and the value will update to the current date value each time you open the workbook or make any changes in the grid.

TODAY Function Syntax

= TODAY( )

This function has no arguments. This means you can enter it without any inputs

Additional Notes on the TODAY Function

  • The TODAY function is volatile. This means it will recalculate when you edit values or formulas in the grid.
  • You can force a recalculation by using the F9 keyboard shortcut.
  • The date format returned will depend on your system and regional settings.
  • The TODAY function will automatically apply a date format to the cell it’s entered in when the cell has a General format.

TODAY Function Examples

Get Todays Date

= TODAY()

The above formula will return today’s date.

Get the Date Next Week

= TODAY() + 7

The above formula will return the date 7 days from the current date.

Get the Date Last Week

= TODAY() - 7

The above formula will return the date 7 days before the current date.

How to Enter a Static Date Value

If you prefer to enter a static date value in Excel instead of using the TODAY function, this can quickly be done with a keyboard shortcut.

  1. Press Ctrl + ; to enter the current date.
  2. Press Enter.

This enters the current date as a static value. It will not update when the workbook recalculates.

Common Errors with the TODAY Function

The value returned might not appear formatted as a date if the cell you enter the formula in had some non-date format applied previously.

You can easily fix this by going to the Home tab and selecting the Short Date format option while the cell is selected.

Related Functions

About the Author

John MacDougall

John MacDougall

John is a Microsoft MVP and qualified actuary with over 15 years of experience. He has worked in a variety of industries, including insurance, ad tech, and most recently Power Platform consulting. He is a keen problem solver and has a passion for using technology to make businesses more efficient.

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