FIX: Excel not changing the date format

Vladimir Popescu
by Vladimir Popescu
Windows & Software Expert
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Excel not changing date format - laptop on table

If your Excel software is not changing the date format, you have to know that you’re not the only one experiencing this issue.

This problem seems to be spread across a variety of platforms and versions of Excel, but don’t worry, we will give you step by step instructions to fix it.

Follow the steps presented in this guide carefully to avoid making any unwanted changes.

Try this method if Excel doesn’t change the date format

laptop with user typing - Excel not changing date format

  1. Click the Data tab from the top menu of your screen.
  2. Choose the Text to columns option from the menu.
  3. Tick the box next to the option Delimited to activate it.
  4. Press the Next button two times to move through the setup pages.
  5. Select Date -> click the drop-down menu -> choose the MDY custom option.
  6. Click the Finish button.
  7. Select any empty cell inside your Excel document -> press the Ctrl+1 keys on your keyboard.
  8. Select the Custom format option found at the bottom of the list.
  9. In the text box -> type YYYY/MM/DDD -> press Ok.

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Here’s how to change the Windows default date format

laptop with red Enter button - Excel not changing date format

Because in some cases the formats used for dates can be confusing, it is recommended that you change the default Windows date format to simplify the process in the long run.

Of course, this specific setting will depend on your requirements, but you can follow these steps to set it:

Press Win+R keys -> type control international -> press Enter.
Under the Formats tab -> check or change the default formats available.
Click the drop-down lists and choose the desired option.
Press Ok to save the settings.

Note: Changing the Windows date format settings will affect all the applications installed on your PC, and not only the options found in MS Excel.


In today’s how-to article we discussed the most efficient way of dealing with Excel not changing the date format.

If you found this guide helpful please don’t forget to let us know. You can do so by using the comment section found below this article.

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