# Excel EDATE Function

Related Function:
EOMONTH

## Function 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.

### Date Arguments

Note that Microsoft advises that you do not type dates directly into functions, as 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:

• A reference to a cell containing a date
or
• A date returned from another function or formula.

## Edate Function Examples

Column B of the following spreadsheet shows six examples of the Excel Edate function.

Formulas:
AB
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 )
Results:
AB
131-Dec-201531-Jan-2016
231-Dec-201530-Nov-2015
331-Dec-201529-Feb-2016
428-Feb-201628-Feb-2017
529-Feb-201628-Feb-2017
629-Feb-201628-Feb-2015

The above examples illustrate that:

• You can use negative values for the months argument, to get a date that is before the supplied start_date.
• The function is able to cope with months that do not contain the same day number as the start_date. For example:

• There is no 31st day of November, so when calculating 1 month before 31st December, the function returns the 30th November.
• Similarly, the function can handle the leap year day - returning 28-Feb-2017 as the date 12 months after 29-Feb-2016.

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

For further examples of the Excel Edate function, see 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
 #NUM! - 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). #VALUE! - Occurs if either:The supplied start_date is not a valid dateorThe supplied months argument is non-numeric.