Excel EDATE Function

Related Function:

Basic Description

The Excel Edate function returns a date that is a specified number of months before or after a supplied start date.

The syntax of function is:

EDATE( start_date, months )

Where the arguments are as follows:

start_date-The initial date, from which to count the number of months.
months-The number of months to add to (or subtract from) the start_date.

Note that Microsoft advises that you do not type dates directly into functions, because Excel interprets text representations of dates differently, depending on the date interpretation settings on your computer.

Therefore the start_date argument for the Edate function should be input as either:


Edate Function Examples

The following spreadsheets show various examples of the Excel Edate function.

131-Dec-2015=EDATE( A1, 1 )
231-Dec-2015=EDATE( A2, -1 )
331-Dec-2015=EDATE( A3, 2 )
428-Feb-2016=EDATE( A4, 12 )
529-Feb-2016=EDATE( A5, 12 )
629-Feb-2016=EDATE( A5, -12 )

The above examples illustrate that:

Note also that, as recommended by Microsoft, in all calls to the Edate function, the start_date has been supplied as a cell reference.

Further examples of the Excel Edate function can be found on the Microsoft Office website.

Edate Function Errors

If you get an error from the Excel Edate function, this is likely to be one of the following:

Common Errors

Occurs if the date resulting from the calculation is not valid.

(E.g. Using the function to calculate the date that is one month before 01/01/1900 would return the #NUM! error as Excel cannot handle dates prior to 01/01/1900).

Occurs if either:

  • the supplied start_date is not a valid date
  • the supplied months argument is non-numeric.