Change the default Date format in Excel

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This article will explain to you how to change the default Date format by your custom display.

How is displayed a date in Excel?

By default, when you insert a date in a cell, the default delimiter between the day, the month and the year it's the slash. And this, even if you write your date with dashes.

Excel automatically replaces the dashes with slashes 🤔

Excel Default display dates

Change the default Date format

If you want to customize the default display, you must change a Windows setting.

Step 1: Open the Regional setting

To open the Regional setting quickly, you write the command line intl.cpl in the Windows Search box

Intl cpl to open the regional settings
Intl cpl to open the regional settings

And there, you have the following dialog box with the default date format.

Windows Regional Settings

Step 2: Select another date format

When you press on the drop-down button, you display other date formats but the number of choices is limited 😕

Selection of another date format

Step 3: Change the default date format

To change the default date format, you must click on the button Additional Settings

Button Additional Settings

Step 4: Create your custom date format

  1. Select the Date tab
  2. Change the custom date format (here dd-MM-yyyy)
Custom the default date format

The code of your custom date follow the standard rules of date format in Excel

And without restarting Excel, neither your computer, all the dates format in your worksheets has the dash for date delimiter 😉

The default date format presents the dates with dashes


When you change the setting of the date format of Windows, ALL THE DATES of your computer are impacted.

As you can see, after changing the default date format, the format of the date in the taskbar has changed too.

New Date format for Windows

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