Microsoft Excel makes a lot of things easier for those working with spreadsheets. But some of the simpler things, per se, converting seconds to minutes can get tedious quickly as you scramble to find the right formula to get your work done quickly.
While you can convert seconds to minutes by simply dividing your Seconds column with 60, but that won’t really give you a result in your preferred formatting. For example, if you divide 90 seconds by 60, it’ll result in 1.5, which isn’t incorrect but if you need the minutes in the MM:SS (24-hour) format where 100 seconds appears as 1:40 (one minute forty seconds), then you’ll need to do a bit more of grunt work.
Actually, to convert seconds to minutes in Excel so that it comes out in the mm:ss time format, you’ll need to divide your Seconds column with the total number of seconds in a day. Feeling dizzy already? Well, don’t be as we’ll guide you through the process of converting seconds to minutes in Excel in a few steps, explained with an example for your ease.
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Converting seconds to minutes in Excel
In the following example, our Seconds column is A and A3 cell has the first value. We’ll be converting the entire column of seconds into Minutes, which will appear in column B.
Step 1: Right-click on column B (Minutes) and then select Format Cells from the options that appear.
Step 2: Now in the Format Cells box, select Custom from the sidebar to the left and then scroll down to select mm:ss from the list of options that appear below Type (to the right). Then click on the OK button at the bottom of the box.
If you can’t find the mm:ss formatting, you can alternatively also type it in the box right below Type.
Step 3: Then select the first box under the Minutes column, which is the B3 cell in our example and enter the following formula and press the Enter key.
We’ve divided the first box of the Seconds column with 86400 because that’s how many seconds there are in a day.
You’ll see that the value in B3 has been converted to minutes and appears in the mm:ss format.
Step 4: Now click and hold the tiny little handle at the bottom corner of the B3 cell, and drag it down to the very end of the column, adjacent to the cell where Column A (Seconds) ends.
As you can see over here, we’ve dragged it down to B10, where our seconds column ends at A10.
As soon as you release the mouse, all of the cells that were selected when you dragged it down will be converted from seconds to minutes and seconds.
If you don’t want to manually drag down the first cell for minutes (as done in Step 4), you can also follow the steps below to convert an entire Seconds column to Minutes in a jiffy.
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How to convert an entire column from seconds to minutes in Excel at once?
If you want to replicate the formula in the first cell to the entire column of the worksheet, you can follow the steps mentioned below after continuing till Step 3 in the guide above. We’re following the same example as above.
- Once you’ve got the converted value in the first cell (B3 here), select it and press Ctrl+C to copy the result.
- Then select the column header (B) and press Ctrl+V to paste.
- In a jiffy, the entire column will replicate the formula and all of the seconds will be converted to minutes.
Once you’re done, the header name for the Minutes column (B) will change; you just need to rename the B column again.
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