The input string for dates in Google Docs's spreadsheet app seems to be set to en_US, which is quite unnatural to me.

How can I change the input format?

2 Answers 2


Under File > Spreadsheet settings....

File > Spreadsheet settings. Updated: Spreadsheet settings...

Select the locale with the date format you want (for example US is mm/dd/yyyy and UK is dd/mm/yyyy).

Spreadsheet Settings


Locale nd Time zone

  • That's a Calendar, not Google Docs setting. Aug 9, 2010 at 10:33
  • Changed to show Docs instead of Calendar (same system for selection).
    – Metalshark
    Aug 9, 2010 at 11:12
  • Is there any english speaking locale that uses yyyy-mm-dd international format?
    – cregox
    Sep 12, 2015 at 20:40
  • Is there any english speaking locale that uses mostly the yyyy-mm-dd international format? Looks like Canada (English) might do the trick, but it's a bit confusing as it also accept other standards.
    – cregox
    Sep 12, 2015 at 20:55

The answer from @Metalshark is great for updating existing documents, but I'd also like to point out that this can be set as a default.

Click the gear icon on the right from your main Google Drive dashboard and select Settings. If you don't have a language selected you can set it here. This should apply to all future documents.

Google Drive language setting

  • 1
    Thanks - good to know! (wonder why the GBs used was hidden :)
    – Anupam
    Mar 31, 2018 at 8:17

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