# How to pick a random date? [Formulas]

Posted on December 8th, 2009 in Excel Howtos - 5 comments

Often when you need to generate a sample from large data set, you may want to pick data from a random date. In such cases, you can use excel’s RAND() and RANDBETWEEN() formulas [syntax and help] to pick a random date.

Here I have included few examples,

To pick a random date in the last one month:

`=TODAY() - RANDBETWEEN(0,30)`

or

`=TODAY() - RAND()*30`

To pick a random date in the next one month:

`=TODAY() + RANDBETWEEN(0,30)`

or

`=TODAY() + RAND()*30`

To pick a random date in the last one year:

`=TODAY() - RANDBETWEEN(0,365)`

or

`=TODAY() - RAND()*365`

To pic a random time of day:

`=RAND()`

Make sure you format the cell to show value as date (or time) to see the outcome. Also, if you have not turned on the Analysis toolpak, the RANDBETWEEN formula will not work.

More on picking random stuff:

More excel formula tutorials

PS: If you are looking to pick up a random date, what are you doing here?

 Christmas Gift List – Set your budget and track gifts using Excel Use CTRL+F1 to collapse ribbon [super-mini-quick-tip]
 Written by Chandoo Tags: date and time, Learn Excel, Microsoft Excel Formulas, rand(), RANDBETWEEN(), random numbers, spreadsheets, today(), tutorials Home: Chandoo.org Main Page ? Doubt: Ask an Excel Question

### 5 Responses to “How to pick a random date? [Formulas]”

1. Finnur says:

Great tips. That p.s. made me laugh out loud hehe.

2. Hui... says:

I also use
- Random day in specific Yr and Month
+Date(2009,12,int(Randbetween(0,31)+1))
If you want a Random Year or Month, change the location of the Randbetween to suit

- Random Upper Case Letters
+char(randbetween(65,90))

- Random Lower Case Letters
+char(randbetween(97,122))

- Random Choices from a small list (4 in this case)
=+CHOOSE(INT(RAND()*4)+1,"Option A","Option B","Option C","Option D")

- Random Choices from a Large list on a Page in Column A2:A100
=+OFFSET(A1,INT(RANDBETWEEN(0,100)),0)

3. Hui... says:

Lets try that whole post again
-----
I also use
-----
Random day in specific Yr and Month
=+Date(2009,12,Randbetween(0,31)) ' Random Day in Dec 2009
=+Date(2009,Randbetween(0,12),1) ' Random 1st of Month in 2009
=+Date(Randbetween(2000,2009),1,1) ' 1st January Random Yr
-----
Random Upper Case Letters
=+char(randbetween(65,90))
-----
Random Lower Case Letters
=+char(randbetween(97,122))
-----
Random Choices from a small list (4 in this case)
=+CHOOSE(INT(RAND()*4)+1,”Option A”,”Option B”,”Option C”,”Option D”)
-----
Random Choices from a Large list on a Page in Column A2:A100
=+OFFSET(A1,INT(RANDBETWEEN(0,100)),0)

4. Chintan Parmar says:

is there any formula to select range of data. so that that formula can be use in vlookup formula. or sumif / countif

 Christmas Gift List – Set your budget and track gifts using Excel Use CTRL+F1 to collapse ribbon [super-mini-quick-tip]