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: Displaying a Result as Minutes and Seconds.

# Displaying a Result as Minutes and Seconds

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 30, 2019)

When Deepak divides two numbers, he would like the result shown in minutes and seconds instead of a decimal value. For example, the result of the division 315/130 is 2.42 minutes, but he would like it displayed as 2:25 (2 minutes, 25 seconds).

Welcome to the wonderful world of working with time values in Excel. You need to understand that Excel, intrinsically, works with decimal values—such as 2.42. (Actually, dividing 315 by 130 results in an answer of 2.42307692.) There are several ways that you can display this as a non-decimal value, such as 2:25. One way is to use a formula such as the following, which returns a text value. (Remember--this is a single formula.)

```=TEXT(INT(315/130),"0") & ":" &
TEXT((315/130-INT(315/130))*60,"0")
```

The problem with using such a formula, however, is that the resulting text value cannot be used in further calculations. (Well, not without jumping through bothersome and unnecessary hoops.) A better solution is to follow these general steps:

1. Divide the result (2.42307692) by 1440.
2. Select the cell with this result and format it to use the custom format mm:ss.

That's it. Your cell now shows 2:25, just as desired. Why does this work? It has to do with how Excel stores dates and times internally. Understand that, in Excel's world, anything to the left of the decimal point (2) is a number of days. Anything to the right of the decimal point (.42307692) is a portion of a full day. Thus, to get value 2.42307692 to something that Excel can understand as a number of minutes and seconds, you need to divide it by the number of minutes in a day (24 * 60, or 1440).

With the value "normalized" to what Excel expects for dates and times, you can then apply formatting to the cell and Excel displays it as you expect.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11913) 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: Displaying a Result as Minutes and Seconds.

##### 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. ...

##### MORE FROM ALLEN

Toggling Print Preview

Need to easily switch back and forth between print preview and your document? Here's a quick shortcut key you can use to ...

Discover More

Limiting Input to Two Decimal Places

When entering data in a worksheet, you may want to exercise some degree of control on the values that can be entered. ...

Discover More

Using Two Characters as a Drop Cap

Want to add drop caps to your layout? They can provide a nice, appealing design element, but how you actually create the ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

##### More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Converting UTC Times to Local Times

Dates and times are often standardized on UTC time, which is analogous to GMT times. How to convert such times to your ...

Discover More

Dealing with Midnight Ending a Day

Dealing with times in Excel is fairly straightforward, except when it comes to midnight. Some people prefer that midnight ...

Discover More

Counting Times within a Range

Excel allows you to easily store dates and times in your worksheets. If you have a range of cells that contain times and ...

Discover More
##### Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. Youâ€™ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six minus 3?

2019-10-02 11:23:40

Mark Groessl

Hello Allen,

I just have a strange question. I formatted a cell as TIME, with the 13:30 property. Then, used this formula in it: =(315/130)/24. It came up with 2:25. Why does the division by 24 work, as well as the division by 1440?

2015-11-07 11:31:14

Please be aware that the custom format of mm:ss will truncate any hours and display only the minutes and seconds For example 1568 minutes/23 minutes results in decimal 68.17391 or 1 hour 8 minutes and 10 seconds. The custom format of mm:ss will ignore the hours and display only the remaining minutes and seconds or 08:10.

If you want any hours to also be included but displayed in minutes, use the custom formt [mm]:ss to display the complete value of 68:10.

##### This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.