Count Days Between Dates in Google Sheets

Tutorial: How to Use the NETWORKDAYS Function

A pocket watch on top of a calendar.

Getty/Marco Marchi

Use the NETWORKDAYS function in Google Sheets to calculate the number of whole business or working days between specified start and end dates. With this function, weekend days (Saturday and Sunday) are automatically removed from the total. Specific days, such as statutory holidays, can be omitted as well.

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NETWORKDAYS Function Syntax and Arguments

Google Sheets NETWORKDAYS Function screenshot

Ted French/Lifewire

A function's syntax refers to the layout of the function and includes the function's name, brackets, and arguments.

The syntax for the NETWORKDAYS function is:


The arguments are:

  • Start_date — (required) the start date of the chosen period
  • End_date — (required) the end date of the chosen period

Use date values, serial numbers, or the cell reference to the location of this data in the worksheet for both arguments.

  • Holidays — (optional) one or more additional dates that are excluded from the total number of working days

Holiday dates can be date values entered directly into the formula or the cell references to the location of the data in the worksheet.

Since NETWORKDAYS does not automatically convert data to date formats, date values entered directly into the function for all three arguments should be entered using the DATE or DATEVALUE functions to avoid calculation errors.

The #VALUE! error value is returned if any argument contains an invalid date.

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The Math Behind the Function

Google Sheets processes its calculation in two steps. First, it assesses the straightforward count of working days between the two stipulated dates. 

After that, it removes every date specified in the holidays argument, if the date occurred on a weekday. For example, if the time period included two holidays (e.g., Memorial Day and Independence Day, in the United States), and those days both occur on a weekday, then the original count between dates is reduced by two, and the answer is displayed in the spreadsheet.