# How to Generate Random Dates in Excel

## Background

Sometimes we will need to generate random dates in Excel for different reasons.

For example, we may create a set of fake data for practising or predicting.

Before I was aware of this formula, I used to input different dates manually.

Generating random dates in Excel is actually ridiculously simple.

All you need is a formula with two popular functions.

In this article, I will show you how to generate random dates in Excel using RANDBETWEEN() and DATE().

## Steps to Generate Random Dates in Excel

Step 1: Think of a start date and end date for your random dates.

For example, I want my set of dates to fall between 2019/3/4 to 2020/12/4.

Step 2: Customise your formula by changing the start date and end date in the formula

`=RANDBETWEEN(DATE(2019,3,4),DATE(2020,12,4))`

After you entered the formula, your cell will look like this. Instead of a date, Excel gives you a 5-digit number.

No need to panic! That doesn’t mean you encounter an error.

Excel stores date as a number called date serial number. The first date serial number starts at 1900/1/1.

Your number will look just right after formatting it properly.

Step 3: Press Ctrl + Shift + 3 to format your cell as a date

10 Excel Ctrl Shift Shortcuts You Need To Know

Step 4: Done

Many Excel users know that they can generate random numbers using RANDBETWEEN().

But the use of RANDBETWEEN() to generate random dates is so underrated.