How to Subtract Time in Google Sheets

Last Updated on April 13, 2023 by Jake Sheridan

In this tutorial, you will learn how to subtract time in Google Sheets.

How to Subtract Time in Google Sheets

We can subtract seconds, minutes, and hours from a given time value in Google Sheets. This can be helpful if you need to retrieve the time value a specific duration prior to some time value.

For example, suppose you want to know the time 8 hours before an event that starts at 2:00 PM. We can use a simple formula to go back a specific length of time before a particular time.In this guide, we’ll show you how to subtract time in Google Sheets.

How to Calculate the Time Delta in Google Sheets

Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to calculate the time delta in Google Sheets.

Step 1

First, select the cell where you want to return the result of subtracting time from our initial time value.

In our first example, we will be subtracting a certain number of minutes from some initial time to create a new time value.

Step 2

If we want to subtract minutes from a time value, we must convert the number of minutes into a fraction of a day. We can do this by dividing the number of minutes by 60 (the number of minutes in an hour) and divide once more by 24 ( the number of hours in a day).

Afterward, we can subtract this new value from the initial time.

In our example, we find out that 45 minutes prior to 5:00pm is 4:15 PM.

Step 3

We can now use the AutoFill tool to find the new time values for the remaining rows.

Step 4

If we want to subtract by hours, we shall divide our number of hours by 24.

In the example above, we find out that 8 hours before 11:30 PM is 3:30 PM.


This guide should be everything you need to learn to subtract time in Google Sheets.

You may make a copy of this example spreadsheet to test it out on your own.