C# DateTime Format

A date and time format string defines the text representation of a DateTime value that results from a formatting operation . C# includes a really great struct for working with dates and time.

You can assign the DateTime object a date and time value returned by a property or method.

Standard date and time format strings

A standard date and time format string in C# uses a single format specifier to define the text representation of a date and time value. A standard or custom format string can be used in two different ways:

  1. To define the string that results from a formatting operation.
  2. To define the text representation of a date and time value that can be converted to a DateTime value by a parsing operation.

Following table shows patterns defined in DateTimeFormatInfo and their values for en-US culture.

Date Formatting in C#

Standard formats are typically used when you need a fast string representation of your DateTime object based on current culture.

C# Standard date and time Example


C# Custom date and time format strings

Custom date and time format string

A custom date and time format string consists of two or more characters. Date and time formatting methods interpret any single-character string as a standard date and time format string. In formatting operations , custom date and time format strings can be used either with the ToString method of a date and time instance or with a method that supports composite formatting .


The following table describes various C# DateTime formats .

DateTime.Now.ToString("hh:mm tt")
DateTime.Now.ToString("h:mm tt")
DateTime.Now.ToString("dddd, dd MMMM yyyy")
DateTime.Now.ToString("dddd, dd MMMM yyyy HH:mm:ss")
DateTime.Now.ToString("MM/dd/yyyy HH:mm")
DateTime.Now.ToString("MM/dd/yyyy hh:mm tt")
DateTime.Now.ToString("MM/dd/yyyy H:mm")
DateTime.Now.ToString("MM/dd/yyyy h:mm tt")
DateTime.Now.ToString("MM/dd/yyyy HH:mm:ss")
DateTime.Now.ToString("MMMM dd")
DateTime.Now.ToString("ddd, dd MMM yyy HH’:’mm’:’ss ‘GMT’")
DateTime.Now.ToString("yyyy MMMM")

C# DateTime Example


C# DateTime.ToString Method

Ticks in DateTime

The Ticks property expresses date and time values in units of one ten-millionth of a second. The Millisecond property returns the thousandths of a second in a date and time value. There are 10,000 ticks in a millisecond, or 10 million ticks in a second. From the following C# example, you can get the milliseconds since 1/1/2000 using such code:

DateTime for a specific culture

CultureInfo provides information about a specific culture . The information includes the names for the culture, the writing system, the calendar used, the sort order of strings, and formatting for dates and numbers.

When you format a DateTime with DateTime.ToString() you can also specify the culture to use.


c# datetime format yyyy-mm-dd

Convert DateTime to String

You can convert a DateTime value to a formatted string like this:

You can convert your string to a DateTime value like this:

Convert String to DateTime

You have basically two options for this.

  1. DateTime.Parse()
  2. DateTime.ParseExact()

You can parse user input like this:

If you have a specific format for the string, you should use the other method:

The "d" stands for the short date pattern and null specifies that the current culture should be used for parsing the string .
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