How to Put Date in Google Sheets (3 Easy Ways)

There are multiple ways of how you can put a date in Google Sheets and our target today is to cover all of these in one single article. We will be starting off with the simplest ways then move on to the more technical ones.

Let’s get started.

3 Ways to Put Date in Google Sheets

1. Insert Static Date in Google Sheets

Depending on your locale, Google Sheets may have a different date format that it recognizes.

You can check what format your application recognizes by clicking on the number format button in the functions ribbon:

checking date format to put date in google sheets

As you can see, our default date format is the MM/DD/YYYY.

Why is knowing the default date format necessary?

We all know that Google Sheets views dates as numbers and it is crucial that it does so, so that we don’t get any errors when doing calculations with dates in our spreadsheet.

Therefore, if we do not input our date in the recognizable format, Google Sheets will view the input as a text and we will not be able to use the date in our calculations.

date formats that google sheets recognizes by default

Conclusion: We must input our dates in Google Sheets in the recognized format.

If that doesn’t satisfy you, you can always change the locale of your spreadsheet from the Settings.

navigating to spreadsheet settings from the file tab

To change to the DD/MM/YYYY format, simply change the locale to the United Kingdom and click Save and reload.

locale settings of google sheets

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Google Sheets has a couple of keyboard shortcuts to allow its users to input the current date or time. These can prove to be quite efficient if you are looking to input time stamps.

The keyboard shortcut for the current date:


The keyboard shortcut for the current time:


Note: Replace the CTRL with CMD or the “pretzel’ key if you are using a Mac.

keyboard shortcut to put date in google sheets

2. Using Date Picker to Input Date in Google Sheets

The Date Picker is one of the most efficient and intuitive ways to put a date in a large Google Sheets spreadsheet.

This works best when you have to input a large number of different dates over a large range of cells. The Date Picker naturally appears when you double-click a cell containing a date in Google Sheets:

the date picker appearing on a cell containing a date

However, you can hard-apply the Date picker over a range of cells quite easily, you only have to follow a few steps. The idea is to transform a cell so that it only takes dates as an input.

In the following dataset, we will be applying the date picker on the Exp. Delivery Date column.

dataset to apply the date picker on

Step 1: Select the range of cells and navigate to the Data validation option from the Data tab. Data > Data validation

navigating to data validation from the data tab

Step 2: In the Data validation window, select the following options:

  • Criteria: Date and is valid date
  • On invalid data: Reject input

data validation conditions

Step 3: Click Save to apply.

Now, you can simply double click in the empty cell and the Date Picker will be presented.

using date picker to automatically put date in google sheets

Extra Tip: You can also apply a pop-up message in the Data validation window to prompt users to double click to open the date picker.

data validation message prompt for the date picker

Why use the  Date Picker?

  • The Date Picker will ensure that the input data is a valid date.
  • It allows users to double-check the week or year in an interactive user interface.
  • It is possibly the most intuitive and easiest method to insert a date. Very handy for beginners.
  • The Date Picker interface shows a much more recognizable format to help pick the correct dates (considering weekends and holidays).

3. Using Functions to Put Date in Google Sheets

Besides manually inputting dates, we also have a few built-in functions that can help us put a date in a Google Sheets spreadsheet.

I. The TODAY Function

First up we have the TODAY function. This function returns the current date in Google Sheets. It does not take any parameters either.

Simply type in the function in the designated cell:


using today function to put current date in google sheets

II. The NOW Function

The NOW function takes things one step further to not only display the current date but also the current time.

Again, type in the function without any parameters:


using the now function to put current date and time in google sheets

Point to Note

Both TODAY and NOW return dynamic or running dates and times. Meaning, every time the spreadsheet is opened, the dates and times may change depending on when it is opened.

You can check or even alter this feature from Spreadsheet Settings under the File tab.

spreadsheet settings to customize dynamic calculations

Here in the Calculation tab, you can see the Recalculation options that are available for functions that return dynamic or running results. You can change this as needed.

For a more in-depth guide, please visit our Find and Display Current Date in Google Sheets article.

Final Words

That concludes all the ways we can put a date in Google Sheets. We hope that our discussion enlightened you to new ways to work with dates in Google Sheets.

Feel free to leave any queries or advice you might have for us in the comments section below. Also, check out our other date-related articles that are sure to deepen your understanding.

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Mehrab Imtiaz

Mehrab Imtiaz

Mehrab Imtiaz is a Technical Writer for specializing in everything Google Sheets. Mehrab has always had a profound passion for writing and with his experience with MS Excel and Google Sheets throughout his career, it seems to be a great match when it comes to dishing out tips and tutorials for all to enjoy.

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