Skip to content

How to format a date in JavaScript

New Course Coming Soon:

Get Really Good at Git

Here's a very common task: how do you format a date with JavaScript?

Given a Date object:

const date = new Date('July 22, 2018 07:22:13')

there are lots of methods that will generate a string representing that date.

There are a few built-in ones. I list them all, along with a comment that shows a sample output:

// "Sun Jul 22 2018 07:22:13 GMT+0200 (Central European Summer Time)"
date.toTimeString() //"07:22:13 GMT+0200 (Central European Summer Time)"
date.toUTCString() //"Sun, 22 Jul 2018 05:22:13 GMT"
date.toDateString() //"Sun Jul 22 2018"
date.toISOString() //"2018-07-22T05:22:13.000Z" (ISO 8601 format)
date.toLocaleString() //"22/07/2018, 07:22:13"
date.toLocaleTimeString()	//"07:22:13"

You are not limited to those, of course - you can use more low level methods to get a value out of a date, and construct any kind of result you want:

date.getDate() //22
date.getDay() //0 (0 means sunday, 1 means monday..)
date.getFullYear() //2018
date.getMonth() //6 (starts from 0)
date.getHours() //7
date.getMinutes() //22
date.getSeconds() //13
date.getMilliseconds() //0 (not specified)
date.getTime() //1532236933000
date.getTimezoneOffset() //-120 (will vary depending on where you are and when you check - this is CET during the summer). Returns the timezone difference expressed in minutes

Those all depend on the current timezone of the computer. There are equivalent UTC versions of these methods, that return the UTC value rather than the values adapted to your current timezone:

date.getUTCDate() //22
date.getUTCDay() //0 (0 means sunday, 1 means monday..)
date.getUTCFullYear() //2018
date.getUTCMonth() //6 (starts from 0)
date.getUTCHours() //5 (not 7 like above)
date.getUTCMinutes() //22
date.getUTCSeconds() //13
date.getUTCMilliseconds() //0 (not specified)
Are you intimidated by Git? Can’t figure out merge vs rebase? Are you afraid of screwing up something any time you have to do something in Git? Do you rely on ChatGPT or random people’s answer on StackOverflow to fix your problems? Your coworkers are tired of explaining Git to you all the time? Git is something we all need to use, but few of us really master it. I created this course to improve your Git (and GitHub) knowledge at a radical level. A course that helps you feel less frustrated with Git. Launching May 21, 2024. Join the waiting list!
→ Get my JavaScript Beginner's Handbook
→ Read my JavaScript Tutorials on The Valley of Code
→ Read my TypeScript Tutorial on The Valley of Code

Here is how can I help you: