Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Converting UTC Times to Local Times.

Converting UTC Times to Local Times

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 12, 2022)

3

Brian lives in Australia and needs to convert a UTC time into his local time. Problem is, he doesn't know how to go about doing it.

UTC is an abbreviation for Coordinated Universal Time. (Yes, I know it looks like the abbreviation letters are out of order. They are; this is why it isn't an acronym. The abbreviation is—believe it or not—based on a political compromise.) UTC is equivalent to International Atomic Time with leap seconds added at irregular intervals to compensate for the Earth's slowing rotation. UTC is never out of synch with GMT (Greenwich Meridian Time) by more than nine tenths of a second, so the two (UTC and GMT) are virtually equivalent in common usage.

Because of this, all you need to do to convert from UTC to a local time is to figure out how many hours your time varies from GMT. There are any number of Websites you can visit to determine such information; the following is an example of one you can use. (Just click a city near you that you know is on the same time zone as you, then look at the resulting time to see how many hours different you are from GMT.)

http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/

If you are near Sydney, Australia, you can see that your local time is ten hours ahead of GMT. This means that to determine the local time, if you know UTC, all you need to do is add ten hours to that time. If the UTC is in cell B3 in Excel's date and time format, then you could use either of these formulas:

=B3 + TIME(10,0,0)
=B3 + (10 / 24)

You should understand that these formulas don't account for Daylight Savings Time. If you live in an area that implements some sort of time adjustment scheme (such as DST), then you will need to adjust your formulas accordingly. This means that if you are near Sydney you need to figure out when DST starts and ends, and if you are currently affected by DST you will need to add eleven hours to your UTC value.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10739) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Converting UTC Times to Local Times.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

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What is nine minus 5?

2022-02-16 12:45:18

Tomek

I apologize, yes it was meant for another tip. I'll re-post it there.


2022-02-16 10:18:37

J. Woolley

@Tomek
Perhaps your comment was intended for another Tip. See
https://excelribbon.tips.net/T008569_Editing_a_Scenario.html


2022-02-15 18:21:23

Tomek

One possible, but may be not well known, use of scenarios is for spreadsheets that you need to have available in more that one language.
Simply select the cells with textual information and create a scenario in, say, English. Then add another scenario with the same information in the second language. You can do the editing via scenario manager, as Allen described, or first change the cells directly, then select them to create the second (and possibly more scenarios).

Another benefit is that you still can have separate independent scenarios for other numeric or non numeric data. And it definitely beats maintaining and updating multiple files for multiple languages.

Please respond if you find this comment useful.


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