C++ Date & Time

By | September 29, 2021

In C++ we do not have a specific Data type to represent the time and date so we inherit the structure and functions from the C programming language. To use data and time in C++ we have a library which can represent data and time in integer format, and to access this library we need to include the <time.h> header file in our C++ program.

<time.h> Functions

In general <time.h> header file provide us four different versions of time types which are clock_t, time_t, size_t, and tm.

Functions Descriptions
time_t time(time_t *time); This function returns the current time of your system in number of seconds since January 1, 1970.
char *ctime(const time_t *time); This function return a pointer to a string in the form of day month hours:minutes:seconds
struct tm *localtime(const time_t *time); This function return a pointer to the tm structure which represent the local time.
clock_t clock(void); It returns a value that approximates the amount of time the calling program has been running. A value of .1 is returned if the time is not available.
char * asctime ( const struct tm * time ); It return a string pointer which contain the time information in the form of day month date hours:minutes:seconds year\n\0
struct tm *gmtime(const time_t *time); It returns a tm structure pointer.
time_t mktime(struct tm *time); This returns the calendar-time equivalent of the time found in the structure pointed to by time
double difftime ( time_t time2, time_t time1 ); It is used to find the time difference between two point of times.
size_t strftime(); This function ca format data and time in a specific format.

Print the Current data and time:

#include <iostream>
#include <time.h> // include the time header file

using namespace std;
int main()  

   time_t current = time(0); // time_t is the time data type
   char* date_and_time = ctime(&current);                           // it will convert the time into string
   cout << "The Current data and time is: " << date_and_time << endl;



The Current data and time is: Thu Jan 14 19:53:31 2020

Quick Summary

  • C++ use the C library to access the data and time.
  • To use the time library, we need to include the <time.h> in our C++ program.

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Author: Vinay

I am a Full Stack Developer with a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, who also loves to write technical articles that can help fellow developers.

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