Sudden Excel format change general to date

Excel changed all my numbers to dates - WTF?!!! I have a spreadsheet years old, many sheets and in one column are dates, formatted in a "date format", then next column are numbers but that were unformatted, ie as "general" format. Recently I opened up the spreadsheet to find that all "general" formatted numbers are now formatted as dates. I didn't do a thing, it just happened. Not only that, all other numbers in all sorts of random places have changed to date format too. There are hundred of places where they have changed.
Please, what happened? And what can I do to return this spreadsheet back to what it was?


Question Info

Last updated March 24, 2020 Views 19,422 Applies to:
This has been addressed before.  I have had this happen also.

The first response from Ron Coderre will fix most, if not all of you issues.  Something happens to alter the default number format for the general format.  I have found that editing the general format can sometimes change some of the other formatting, depending on how the sheet was set set up, so after editing the general format check the sheet to make sure the rest of you formatting is intact.

Some of the official responses make it sound like the user inadvertently did this, rather than acknowledge that this is some kind of bug.

This has been around since at least Excel 2003 and I have not yet found anything in my research that explains why this happens or what events are triggering it.

Hope this helps.
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