google sheets – How to have an example cell duration entry of 12:45 format as 00:12:45 instead of 12:45:00?

Inside of a spreadsheet I have, there is a duration formatted column where I do hand entered data a few times per day. This works well for my purposes, but an annoying problem that I face is that these durations are for more often than not under 1 hour long, yet sheets formats my input under the hours mark instead of minutes. For this reason, I would like the hour insertion to be the exception, not the rule.


  • I type in 12:45
  • The entry I want is 00:12:45
  • Sheets arranges it to 12:45:00

Current solution:

  • I have to manually type in 00:12:45 rather than be able to use auto

This is not a world breaking issue, but I would rather not have to type the extra 00: a few times every day. I have already tried to remove the hour zone from the formatting entirely, but that removes the hour data from the entire column.