Excel NOW Function

HomeExcel FunctionsExcel NOW Function (Example + Sample File)


The Excel NOW Function is listed under Microsoft Excel's Time Functions category. It returns the current date and time as per the system’s date and time. The date and time returned by the NOW function update continuously whenever you update anything in the worksheet.

How to use it

To learn how to use the NOW function in Excel, you need to understand its syntax and arguments: 




  • In NOW, there is no argument to specify, but you need to take care that this function is a volatile function which changes its value every time you update your worksheet’s calculation.


  • It enters a valid serial number of current data and time as per Excel’s date and time system.
  • As it is a volatile function, it can affect the processing speed of your calculation.
  • When you enter this function in a cell it will convert the format of the cell into a custom format (m/d/yyyy h:mm).


To master the NOW function we need to try it out in an example and below is one which you can try out:

Below we have used NOW in two different ways:

  • In the first example, we have used TEXT Function along with now to extract current time from it.
  • In the second example, we have changed the format of the cell to “General”. The number before the decimal point is the current date & number after the decimal point is the time.

Related functions

This tutorial is the part of our Excel Functions with Examples (Function Guide) and below are some of the related functions:

About the Author

Puneet Gogia

Puneet is using Excel since his college days. He helped thousands of people to understand the power of the spreadsheets and learn Microsoft Excel. You can find him online, tweeting about Excel, on a running track, or sometimes hiking up a mountain.