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Maximum times in Microsoft Excel

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This article was previously published under Q214386
SUMMARY
In Microsoft Excel, there are limits to the maximum time values that you can enter into a cell or return by using a formula. This article explains those limits.
MORE INFORMATION
In Microsoft Excel 5.0 and in later versions of Excel, you can enter times that exceed 24 hours by using a number format that includes [h]. The square brackets around the "h" instruct Excel to calculate times beyond 24-hour intervals, which allows you to enter times that exceed 24 hours. If you enter times that exceed 24 hours, Excel automatically applies a number format that includes the [h] code.

There are limits that apply to times that use this format. If you type a time value into a cell or use a formula to return a time that exceeds the limits, you may notice either of the following behaviors:
  • If you enter a time that exceeds the limits, the time may appear as a text string.

    For example, if you type the following time
    20000:00:00
    the time appears in the cell as a text string aligned to the left.
  • If you use a formula to return a time that exceeds the limits, the formula returns a series of pound or number signs (####).
The maximum time value that you can type into a cell is 9999:59:59. If you type a value that is greater than or equal to 10,000 hours (10000:00:00), the time appears as a text string.

The maximum time value that you can calculate using a formula is 71003183:59:59. This value equates to 12/31/9999 23:59:59, which is the maximum time that you can use in Excel 2000.

For more information about how to use times, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
214094 How to use dates and times in Excel
[h]:mm [h]:mm:ss XL2000 XL2003 XL2007
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Article ID: 214386 - Last Review: 01/24/2007 02:59:10 - Revision: 4.2

  • Microsoft Office Excel 2007
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2003
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
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