Get Current Time (Excel Formula)

To get the current time in Excel using a formula, you need to use Excel’s NOW Function with the TRUNC function. With these two functions, you can get the current time in a cell. But, you need to understand that NOW is a volatile function that updates itself whenever your sheet gets updated.

current-time-in-excel

Formula to Get the Current Time in Excel

You can use the following steps:

  1. First, in a cell enter the NOW function (in now you don’t need to specify an argument).
  2. Next, enter the minus operator.
  3. Now, enter the TRUNC function.
  4. After that, within the TRUNC enter the NOW function.
  5. In the end, close the TRUNC function and hit enter to get the result.
formula-to-get-current-time
=NOW()-TRUNC(NOW())

How this Formula Works

Excel stores a date as an integer and time as a decimal value. Now when you enter the NOW function in a cell it returns the current date and time.

now-formula

But, to understand this formula, you need to break it into two parts.

now-and-trunc-formula

In the first part, we have the NOW function that returns the current date and time (date in integer and time in decimals).

first-part-has-now-formula

In the second part, we again have the NOW function but wrapped in TRUNC. TRUNC function removes the integer part from the values returned by the NOW.

second-part-has-trunc-formula

From the result of the first part, you have the date and time both. And from the result of the second part, you only have the date. And that’s why you get only time in the result when you minus second from the first.

date-and-time-minus-date-equal-to-time

Important Points

  • NOW is a volatile function, and it will change when you update anything in your worksheet. You can also convert the formula into the value by using copy and paste special.
  • NOW shows you time according to the time that you are in your system.

Download Sample File