How to Change Date Format in Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing the date format in Google Sheets is a handy skill that can help you organize your data better. Whether you need to switch from American to European date format or you want to display the day of the week alongside the date, Google Sheets has got you covered. It’s a simple process that involves a few clicks, and voilĂ , your dates will display just how you want them.

Step by Step Tutorial: Change Date Format in Google Sheets

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re aiming to achieve. The date format in Google Sheets is not set in stone. You can customize it to fit the needs of your project or your personal preferences. The steps below will guide you through the process of adjusting the date format to your liking.

Step 1: Select the Cells

Click on the cell or range of cells that contain the dates you want to format.

Selecting the cells is the first step because it tells Google Sheets which data you want to change. Make sure you select all the cells with dates that need formatting to avoid having to repeat the process.

Step 2: Open the Format Menu

Click on "Format" in the top menu, then select "Number" from the dropdown list.

The Format menu is where all the magic happens. Here, you can not only change the date format but also adjust the number format, text alignment, and font style.

Step 3: Choose a Pre-set Date Format

Select one of the pre-set date formats from the list.

Google Sheets offers a variety of common date formats to choose from. Pick the one that suits your needs best. Remember, the way the date is displayed will change in your selected cells as soon as you click on a format.

Step 4: Customize the Date Format

For more control over the date format, select "More Formats" and then "More date and time formats."

This step is for those who need a specific date format that is not available in the pre-set options. Here, you can create a custom format by combining day, month, year, and time elements as you wish.

Step 5: Apply the Custom Format

After setting up your custom date format, click "Apply" to save the changes.

Once you hit "Apply," the cells you selected will immediately display the dates in your custom format. If it doesn’t look right, you can always go back and tweak the format until it’s perfect.

After completing these steps, your Google Sheets document will display the dates in the format you’ve chosen. This can help make your data more readable and can be particularly helpful when sharing your sheets with others who may be used to a different date format.

Tips: Perfecting Your Date Format in Google Sheets

  • If you’re working with dates that include time, remember that you can format the time aspect as well.
  • Be mindful of regional differences in date formats when sharing your Google Sheets with international colleagues.
  • Remember that changing the date format does not affect the actual data, just how it is displayed.
  • Use custom date formats for unique situations, like when you need to display the week number alongside the date.
  • Always double-check your work to ensure that the new format is applied correctly across all relevant cells.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I revert to the original date format?

If you change your mind and want to go back to the original date format, simply repeat the steps and select the original format from the list.

Can I apply a date format to an entire column?

Yes, you can apply a date format to an entire column by clicking on the column letter at the top of the sheet, which selects all the cells in that column.

Will changing the date format affect my formulas?

No, changing the date format will not affect the underlying data or any formulas that reference those dates.

Is it possible to create a custom date format that includes text?

Yes, in the custom date format editor, you can add text by typing it in quotation marks.

Can I use different date formats in the same Google Sheets document?

Absolutely, you can use as many different date formats as you need in the same document, just apply them to the cells or ranges as needed.


  1. Select the cells with the dates you want to change.
  2. Open the Format menu and go to Number.
  3. Choose a pre-set date format or select More Formats for custom options.
  4. Customize the date format if needed.
  5. Apply the custom format to the selected cells.


Changing the date format in Google Sheets is a breeze once you know where to look. With the ability to choose from pre-set formats or create your own, you have the flexibility to display dates exactly how you need them. This can be incredibly useful for projects with international teams, as it ensures everyone is on the same page, regardless of their default date format.

Beyond just personal convenience, mastering this skill can save you time and improve the professionalism of your documents. Whether you’re a spreadsheet newbie or a seasoned pro, knowing how to change date format in Google Sheets is a trick worth having up your sleeve. So go ahead, give it a try, and watch your data transform before your eyes.