How To Add Time in Google Sheets [4+ Easy Ways]

If you have worked with date and time in Google Sheets, then you already know how easy it is to add dates to an already existing date in a cell. For example, if you have the current date in a cell and you add 10 to it, it will give you the date of the day 10 days after the current date.

But how can you add time in Google Sheets? For example, if you have the date and time in a cell, and you want to know what will be after 4 hours or after 30 minutes. This can be done easily in Google Sheets with simple addition formulas.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to add time in Google Sheets (i.e., add hours, minutes, or seconds to an already existing date and timestamp).

You can make a copy of our example time spreadsheet to follow along. If you find the example sheet helpful, you may also want to check out our paid templates, where you can use the code “SSP” to save 50%.

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So let’s get started!

How To Add Hours to Date/Time in Google Sheets

Suppose you have the dataset as shown below where you have the timestamp (which includes the date and time), and you want to add the number of hours in Column B. Here’s how to calculate time in Google Sheets:

How to add time in Google Sheets—Data to add time in Google Sheets

Now, unlike when adding dates, you can not simply add hours to a timestamp in Google Sheets.

You need to ensure that the unit of both columns is the same. For example, if you add the value 3 to 10:00:00, it will not give you 1 PM (i.e., the value of time after 3 hours).

This is because when you add 3 to the time, it adds 3 days to the time to which it’s added. So when you have to add some hours, you need to make sure the number actually represents hours and not days.

For example, 24 hours would be 1 day, 12 hours would be 0.5 days, and so on.

Hence, when you have the time in hours, you must divide it by 24 to get the correct value. This value can then be added to a timestamp with the day and time.

Below is the formula that will give you the correct Google Sheets elapsed time when you have added hours in Column B with the time in Column A:

=A2+B2/24
Formula to add hours in Google Sheets

 

In the above formula, I have divided the value in Column B with 24 to convert it to hours, as that is what I have in Column A.

While this formula works, there is one thing you need to remember. When you add time, it may change the day, resulting in the value showing the time of the next day. For example, if you add 20 hours (which would be 20/24) to 10:00:00, it would give you 6:00:00, which is the time after 20 hours the next day.

How To Add Time in Google Sheets in 24 Hour Format?

In case you add hours where the total is more than 24 hours, you will notice that the result will not show you the overall total number of hours that exceed 24 hours.

Rather, it will show you the time that’s in excess of the 24 hours (as shown in the image below).

In case you want to show the total number of hours, you will have to change the formatting of the cell.

Below are the steps to change the cell formatting so the total number of hours is shown:

  1. Select the cells you want to change the cell format
  2. Click the “Format” option in the menu
  3. Hover the cursor over the “Number” option
  4. Go to “More Formats” and click on “Custom number format
    Click on Format and go to the Custom number format option
  5. In the “Custom number format” dialog box, enter the following format: [hh]:mm:ss
    Enter the custom number format
  6. Click on “Apply

The above steps will format the numbers in the cells so that these will show the hours even when the total is more than 24 hours (as shown below in Column C).

Add time in Google Sheets - hours more than 24

Adding Minutes to Date/Time in Google Sheets

Just like adding time in hours in Google Sheets, you can also add minutes as well. Again, you need to ensure that the time unit of the values being added is the same — which is minutes.

Suppose you have a dataset, as shown below, and you want to add time in Column B to the values in Column A.

Data to add minute in Google Sheets

 

Below is the Google Sheets timesheet formula that will do this:

=A2+B2/(24*60)
Formula to add minutes in Google Sheets

 

The above formula converts the value in Column B into minutes by dividing it by (24*60)

Adding Seconds to Date/Time in Google Sheets

And again, just like adding hours and minutes, you can also add seconds to the time. Here, you need to make sure that the time unit of the added values is the same — which is seconds.

Suppose you have a time dataset, as shown below, and you want to add the seconds in Column B to the time in Column A.

Dataset to add seconds in Google Sheets

 

Below is the formula that will do this:

=A2+B2/(24*60*60)
Formula to add seconds in Google Sheets

 

In the above formula, I have converted the value in Column B into seconds by dividing it by (24*60*60)

Another way to do this is by using the TIME function.

Screenshot for our example sheet for adding time using the time function

How To Sum Time in Google Sheets

You can perform the same operation using the SUM function. The most important thing to note when doing this is that your values must be in the time format or Google Sheets duration format if you’re dealing with durations.

Let’s look at an example sheet below:

Screenshot for our example sheet for summing time

The first step would be to ensure that the format for the time is in duration. To do this, we:

  1. Select the time column
  2. Go to “Format” > “Number
  3. Choose “Duration

Now, we can use the SUM function to add up the amount of time it took to complete all the tasks.

We will use the formula:

 =SUM(B2:B6)
Screenshot for the results of summing time

 

You will notice that the formula will automatically convert the excess seconds into minutes and minutes into hours.

Google Sheets Subtract Time

How To Find the Difference Between Two Specified Times

Just like we have added time in these examples, you can also get the Google spreadsheet time difference (change the addition operator with the subtraction operator in the formulas).

Let’s look at our example below:

Screenshot for our example sheet for subtracting time

 

We can get the duration by subtracting the start time from the end time. Just like adding time in Google Sheets, all we need to use is the minus sign (-).

We will use the formula:

 =B2-A2
Screenshot for the results of subtracting specified time

 

This will give us the duration in the format hh:mm:ss. We can then copy the formula to the rest of the cells by clicking and dragging the square at the bottom right corner of the cell.

Google Sheets time formulas can be used to give you specific results. For example, if you wrap the formula above with the HOUR sheets formula, you will get the difference in hours between the two times. The same applies to Minutes and Seconds functions.

Subtracting Hours, Minutes, or Seconds from Time

The easiest way to subtract hours, minutes, or seconds from time is by using the TIME function in the equation.

Let’s look at our example sheet below:

Screenshot for our example sheet for subtracting time

To get the difference in seconds in the time, we have used the formula:

 =A2-TIME(0,0, B2)

If we were working with minutes, instead, we would put the cell reference in the middle like this:

=A2-TIME(0,B2,0)

For hours, we would put the cell reference first.

How To Extract Date and Time from a Full “Date-time” Record

Sometimes, your data may have the date and time in one cell in Google Sheets. In this case, it would be difficult to use add or subtract time. Therefore, you can download “Power Tools” from Google Workspace Marketplace. Here’s how:

  1. Go to “Extensions” > “Add-ons.”
Go to Extensions > Add-ons.

 

  1. Click “Get add-ons.”
  2. In the “Add-ons” window, type “Power tools” and click “Search.”
  3. Choose the Power Tools add-on and click “Install.”
Choose the Power Tools add-on and Click Install.

 

  1. You may need to allow permissions. Click “Continue” and choose your Google account.
  2. Click “Done.”

Using Power Tools Add-on

To make your work simpler, you can also use an add-on. The Power Tools add-on contains a lot of functions, including a split date and time function.

Here’s how to split date and time using the Power Tools function:

  1. Go to “Extensions” > “Power Tools
  2. Click “Start
  3. Choose “Split
Choose Split.

 

  1. Click “Split date & time
Click Split date & time

 

  1. Choose your settings, then click “Split.” In our case, we chose our column as a header to show you the original data and the split date and time.
Choose column as a header to show the original data and the split date and time.

 

This add-on will split the date and time for you and add headers for you. Now, you can perform Google Sheets time calculations without any problems.

Summing Up

So, “Can you add time in Google Sheets?” Yes! We’ve shown how to add time in Google Sheets (be it in hours, minutes, or seconds), including calculating formulas for both Google Sheets and how to add and subtract time.

I hope you found this tutorial useful! You can also check out how to calculate days between two dates. Alternatively, you may also want to consider taking a full Google Sheets course.

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Sumit

Sumit

Sumit is a Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel Expert. He provides spreadsheet training to corporates and has been awarded the prestigious Excel MVP award by Microsoft for his contributions in sharing his Excel knowledge and helping people.

10 thoughts on “How To Add Time in Google Sheets [4+ Easy Ways]”

  1. I think maybe this sentence:
    “Hence, when you have the time in hours, you need to divide it by 12 to get the correct value that can be added to a timestamp that has day and time both.”
    should actually read,
    “Hence, when you have the time in hours, you need to divide it by 24 to get the correct value that can be added to a timestamp that has day and time both.”

    Reply
  2. Thanks. Any idea on how to do the following? I’m making quite a complicated structure with substrings. Trying to add time when it is displayed as hr and min:

    Day: Driving Time:
    Mon 0 hr 0 min
    Tue 1 hr 45 min
    Wed 1 hr 32 min
    Thu 2 hr 34 min
    Fri 1 hr 42 min
    Total Time for Week:

    Reply
    • I’m sure you have figured it out but you can type text in “” into custom number formats or you could use concatenate function (with conditionals for hr vs hrs if you really wanted)

      Reply
  3. I Want to add 4 hours in timestamp but this 4 hours not exceed the office timing hours and if it exceed office timing hours then the exceeding hours should be calculated to next days

    Reply

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