# Excel: How Excel stores dates and times

If you want to use date and time efficiently in Excel, you first have to learn how Excel stores these values.

At first, it may seem that Excel stores dates and times as text values (for example **January 12, 2014**). In fact, these values are nothing but numbers, formatted in a way that is easily recognizable by a person.

## Date

The date is stored as an integer. Excel starts counting dates from **January 1, 1900 24:00:00**, so the number 1 is treated as **January 1, 1900**, 2 is treated as **January 2,**** 1900 **and so on. Look at the following example.

### Example 1:

*January 1, 1900 = 1 *

*January 3, 1900 = 3 *

*February 2, 1901 = 399 *

*March 1, 2014 = 41699*

## Time

While the date is stored as an integer, time is stored as a decimal fraction. You can find a few examples below.

### Example 2:

*24:00:00 = 0 *

*12:00:00 = 0.5 *

*11:00:00 p.m. = 0.958333333 *

*11:59:59 p.m. = 0.999988426*

When a cell contains both the date and time, then the date will be represented by a total and the time by a fractional part of the number.

### Example 3:

*March 5th, 1920 13:51 = 7370.577731*

*December 11, 2000 18:11 = 36871.75803*