Excel: Convert hours and minutes to minutes

August 2, 2017

Converting hours and minutes (hh:mm) to minutes in an Excel spreadsheet is actually quite simple, once you know what to do. But I had to do quite a bit of trial and error and Googling to get it to work.

To convert hours and minutes to minutes, you have to multiply the hh:mm value by 1440 (which is 24 [number of hours in the day] multiplied by 60 [number of minutes in an hour]), AND make sure you set the formatting correctly for the both the hh:mm cells and the resulting minute cells. This is where I got caught — I didn’t have the correct formatting applied to the cells. Once I got that right, it all worked.

Here’s how…

  1. Enter elapsed times in hours and minutes (using the format hh:mm) in Column B. (Yes, those non-stop flights to/from Sydney to Dallas Fort Worth are killers!)
  2. Set the format for this column to Custom > h:mm. (To format the column, select the column header, right-click on it, select Format Cells, select Custom on the Number tab, then select h:mm from the list of types. Click OK.)
  3. Insert a new column (C) and called it Minutes.
  4. Set the format for the cells in this new column to Number with no decimal places — this formatting is critical for the formula to work. (To format the column, select the column header, right-click on it, select Format Cells, select Number on the Number tab, then change the Decimal Places value to 0. Click OK.)
  5. Put the cursor in the first cell in the new column that pairs with a cell in the hh:mm column. In my example, that was C3, which pairs with B3.
  6. Type =B3*1440 in the formula bar, then press Enter to convert the hours and minutes into minutes.
  7. Click in the C3 cell and ‘grab’ the bottom right handle of the cell marker (it turns to a + sign when you’ve grabbed it correctly) and drag it down the other cells in column C. (See below for how to apply it to ALL cells in the column.)

  8. When you release the mouse, all those cells you dragged this formula over will be converted to minutes and seconds.

To apply this formula to the entire column:

  1. Copy (Ctrl+C) the result in the first cell with the formula (C3 in my example).
  2. Select the entire column (column C in my example) by selecting the column header.
  3. Paste (Ctrl+V).
  4. You’ll have to rename the column back to Minutes, but you’ll have that formula now applied to every row of your spreadsheet for that column.

These sites helped me figure out what to do:

See also:

[Links last checked August 2017]


  1. Thank you for the tip!!

  2. Thank you, well hidden by MS, but fortunately, well explained by You! :)

  3. thank you very much for explaining how to do this I have been tring to do this for quite a while.

  4. Strangely, some of my calculations are incorrect with the formula. For example, I have 0:05 but I’m getting a result of 1445 minutes. Please help. The majority of my results are correct.

  5. Hi Andrew

    I tested my steps again, adding 0:05 to the list of times. It worked without an issue. I also tried changing the formatting of that 0:05 cell to all other options, but the worst I got was a result of 72 or a value error message.

    Because you got a result that’s the sum of 5 and 1440, can you put your cursor in the results cell for 0:05 and check the math symbol in the formula at the top? It should be =*1440, but it sounds like you might have =+1440.

    BTW, I tested in Excel 2010 for Windows, though I doubt that matters.


  6. Thanks for this shortcut!

  7. Thank you so much! This worked beautifully! I appreciate the tutorial!

  8. Thanks for your clear explanation – I have been trying to do this for a while and MS is no help

  9. This is wonderful, and exactly what I needed. Thanks so much!

  10. Clear explanation. This helped me with a project today. Thank you!

  11. Thank you very much for the steps. Can you please help me understand the logic behind multiplying the time with 1440?

  12. Hi Nilandri

    The beginning of paragraph 2 explains it: 1440 is the number of minutes in 24 hours (60 x 24).


  13. This is very well explained – thank you :)

  14. Many many tnx.

  15. Thank you!

  16. Very much appreciated.

  17. Thank you!

  18. Thanks for your help. Perfect!

  19. Thank you

  20. Thank you. The explanation is clear. I would never have thought of formatting the minutes as a number with no decimals.

  21. So well explain and helpful thank you.

  22. Thank you so much !!!! :)

  23. 1440 for what?

  24. The beginning of paragraph 2 explains it: 1440 is the number of minutes in 24 hours (60 x 24).


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