Converting Text Dates to Numeric Dates
Sometimes when you import data, particularly dates, Excel treats the data as text. You can use the DATEVALUE() function to convert text dates to real numeric dates.
DATEVALUE() returns the serial number of the selected date. Once you have the serial date, you can format it to display as a date.
In this example, the data in Column A are dates that Excel treats as text. (A good way to tell if Excel is treating something as a number or text is to check the alignment. Text is left aligned whereas numbers are left aligned.) In column B2, I used the formula =DATEVALUE(A2) to change the text in cell A2 into a serial number which displays as 39894.
To convert it to something meaningful, you just need to go the Number group on the Home Tab
In this particular example, I then selected the short date
The result is shown below:
DATEVALUE() only works on text dates. If you try it on a column of text and numeric dates, you will get a #VALUE error on the entries that are numeric.