PHP - Date & Time Functions


These functions allow you to get the date and time from the server where your PHP scripts are running. You can use these functions to format the date and time in many different ways.


There is no installation needed to use these functions; they are part of the PHP core.

Runtime Configuration

The behavior of the these functions is affected by settings in php.ini. All these parameters are available in PHP version 5 and onwards.

Date/Time configuration options:

Name Default Description Changeable
date.default_latitude "31.7667" Specifies the default latitude. PHP_INI_ALL
date.default_longitude "35.2333" Specifies the default longitude PHP_INI_ALL
date.sunrise_zenith "90.83" Specifies the default sunrise zenith PHP_INI_ALL
date.sunset_zenith "90.83" Specifies the default sunset zenith PHP_INI_ALL
date.timezone "" Specifies the default timezone PHP_INI_ALL

PHP − indicates the earliest version of PHP that supports the function.

Function Description PHP
checkdate() Validates a Gregorian date 3
date_create() Returns new DateTime object 5
date_date_set() Sets the date 5
date_default_timezone_get() Returns the default time zone 5
date_default_timezone_set() Sets the default time zone 5
date_format() Returns date formatted according to given format 5
date_isodate_set() Sets the ISO date 5
date_modify() Alters the timestamp 5
date_offset_get() Returns the daylight saving time offset 5
date_parse() Returns associative array with detailed info about given date 5
date_sun_info() Returns an array with information about sunset/sunrise and twilight begin/end. 5
date_sunrise() Returns the time of sunrise for a given day / location 5
date_sunset() Returns the time of sunset for a given day / location 5
date_time_set() Sets the time 5
date_timezone_get() Return time zone relative to given DateTime 5
date_timezone_set() Sets the time zone for the DateTime object 5
date() Formats a local time/date 3
getdate() Returns an array that contains date and time information for a Unix timestamp 3
gettimeofday() Returns an array that contains current time information 3
gmdate() Formats a GMT/UTC date/time 3
gmmktime() Returns the Unix timestamp for a GMT date 3
gmstrftime() Formats a GMT/UTC time/date according to locale settings 3
idate() Formats a local time/date as integer 5
localtime() Returns an array that contains the time components of a Unix timestamp 4
microtime() Returns the microseconds for the current time 3
mktime() Returns the Unix timestamp for a date 3
strftime() Formats a local time/date according to locale settings 3
strptime() Parses a time/date generated with strftime() 5
strtotime() Parses an English textual date or time into a Unix timestamp 3
time() Returns the current time as a Unix timestamp 3
timezone_abbreviations_list() Returns associative array containing dst, offset and the timezone name 5
timezone_identifiers_list() Returns numerically index array with all timezone identifiers 5
timezone_name_from_abbr() Returns the timezone name from abbrevation 5
timezone_name_get() Returns the name of the timezone 5
timezone_offset_get() Returns the timezone offset from GMT 5
timezone_open() Returns new DateTimeZone object 5
timezone_transitions_get() Returns all transitions for the timezone 5

PHP Date / Time Constants

Constant Description
DATE_ATOM Atom (example: 2005-08-15T16:13:03+0000)
DATE_COOKIE HTTP Cookies (example: Sun, 14 Aug 2005 16:13:03 UTC)
DATE_ISO8601 ISO-8601 (example: 2005-08-14T16:13:03+0000)
DATE_RFC822 RFC 822 (example: Sun, 14 Aug 2005 16:13:03 UTC)
DATE_RFC850 RFC 850 (example: Sunday, 14-Aug-05 16:13:03 UTC)
DATE_RFC1036 RFC 1036 (example: Sunday, 14-Aug-05 16:13:03 UTC)
DATE_RFC1123 RFC 1123 (example: Sun, 14 Aug 2005 16:13:03 UTC)
DATE_RFC2822 RFC 2822 (Sun, 14 Aug 2005 16:13:03 +0000)
DATE_RSS RSS (Sun, 14 Aug 2005 16:13:03 UTC)
DATE_W3C World Wide Web Consortium (example: 2005-08-14T16:13:03+0000)
SUNFUNCS_RET_TIMESTAMP Timestamp ( Available in 5.1.2 )
SUNFUNCS_RET_STRING Hours:minutes (example: 08:02) ( Available in 5.1.2 )
SUNFUNCS_RET_DOUBLE Hours as floating point number (example 8.75)( Available in 5.1.2 )