Check Sheet Logo
Check Sheet


The SECOND function takes a time value and returns the seconds component of that time as a number between 0 and 59. This function is most commonly used to extract the seconds portion of a time value in order to perform calculations or comparisons based on seconds.


Use the SECOND formula with the syntax shown below, it has 1 required parameter:

  1. time (required):
    The time value from which to extract the seconds component. This can be a cell reference or a direct time value input.


Here are a few example use cases that explain how to use the SECOND formula in Google Sheets.

Calculating duration

If you have two time values and want to calculate the duration in seconds between them, you can subtract the SECOND value of the start time from the SECOND value of the end time.

Conditionally formatting based on seconds

You can use the SECOND function in a conditional formatting rule to highlight cells that have a certain number of seconds, such as all cells with a seconds value greater than 30.

Calculating timestamp

You can use the SECOND function in combination with other date and time functions to create a timestamp that includes the seconds component of a time value.

Common Mistakes

SECOND not working? Here are some common mistakes people make when using the SECOND Google Sheets Formula:

Incorrect argument type

The input for the SECOND formula should be a valid date or time value. Check that the input cell contains a valid date or time value, and that it is formatted correctly.

Using an unsupported date format

The SECOND formula supports only a limited range of date formats. Make sure you are using a supported format, such as 'yyyy-mm-dd'.

Referencing a blank cell

If the cell referenced by the SECOND formula is blank, the formula will return an error. Make sure the referenced cell contains a valid date or time value.

The following functions are similar to SECOND or are often used with it in a formula:


    The MINUTE function in Google Sheets returns the minute of the hour for a given date or time value. It takes a single argument, time, which is the date or time value to extract the minute from.

  • HOUR

    The HOUR function returns the hour component of a given time. This function is most commonly used to extract the hour value from a timestamp or a time value. The function takes one parameter, which is the time to extract the hour component from.

  • TIME

    The TIME function takes in three arguments: hour, minute, and second, and returns a time value. This function is commonly used in combination with other functions to perform time-related calculations.

  • DATE

    The DATE formula is used to create a date object in Google Sheets. It takes three arguments: year, month, and day and returns a date. This formula is useful when you need to perform date calculations or create date-based charts and graphs.

Learn More

You can learn more about the SECOND Google Sheets function on Google Support.