PHP 5 >= 5.3.0, PHP 7, PHP 8
DateTime::createFromFormat - Parses a time string according to a specified format
Code Examples

     [DateTimeZone|null$timezone = null]
): public static DateTime|false

Procedural style

DateTimefalsedate_create_from_format stringformat stringdatetime DateTimeZonenulltimezonenull



The format that the passed in string should be in. See the formatting options below. In most cases, the same letters as for the date can be used.

The following characters are recognized in the format parameter string Day Month Year Time Timezone Full Date/Time Whitespace and Separators
format character Description Example parsable values
--- ---
d and j Day of the month, 2 digits with or without leading zeros 01 to 31 or 1 to 31
D and l A textual representation of a day Mon through Sun or Sunday through Saturday
S English ordinal suffix for the day of the month, 2 characters. It's ignored while processing. st, nd, rd or th.
z The day of the year (starting from 0); must be preceded by Y or y. 0 through 365
--- ---
F and M A textual representation of a month, such as January or Sept January through December or Jan through Dec
m and n Numeric representation of a month, with or without leading zeros 01 through 12 or 1 through 12
--- ---
Y A full numeric representation of a year, up to 4 digits Examples: 0055, 787, 1999, 2003
y A two digit representation of a year (which is assumed to be in the range 1970-2069, inclusive) Examples: 99 or 03 (which will be interpreted as 1999 and 2003, respectively)
--- ---
a and A Ante meridiem and Post meridiem am or pm
g and h 12-hour format of an hour with or without leading zero 1 through 12 or 01 through 12
G and H 24-hour format of an hour with or without leading zeros 0 through 23 or 00 through 23 (2 digit numbers higher than 24 are accepted, in which case they will make the day overflow. For example using 26 means 02:00 the next day)
i Minutes with leading zeros 00 to 59
s Seconds, with leading zeros 00 through 59
v Milliseconds (up to three digits) Example: 12, 345
u Microseconds (up to six digits) Example: 45, 654321
--- ---
e, O, P and T Timezone identifier, or difference to UTC in hours, or difference to UTC with colon between hours and minutes, or timezone abbreviation Examples: UTC, GMT, Atlantic/Azores or +0200 or +02:00 or EST, MDT
--- ---
U Seconds since the Unix Epoch (January 1 1970 00:00:00 GMT) Example: 1292177455
--- ---
(space) One space or one tab Example:
# One of the following separation symbol: ;, :, /, ., ,, -, ( or ) Example: /
;, :, /, ., ,, -, ( or ) The specified character. Example: -
? A random byte Example: ^ (Be aware that for UTF-8 characters you might need more than one ?. In this case, using * is probably what you want instead)
* Random bytes until the next separator or digit Example: * in Y-*-d with the string 2009-aWord-08 will match aWord
! Resets all fields (year, month, day, hour, minute, second, fraction and timezone information) to zero-like values ( 0 for hour, minute, second and fraction, 1 for month and day, 1970 for year and UTC for timezone information) Without !, all fields will be set to the current date and time.
| Resets all fields (year, month, day, hour, minute, second, fraction and timezone information) to zero-like values if they have not been parsed yet Y-m-d| will set the year, month and day to the information found in the string to parse, and sets the hour, minute and second to 0.
+ If this format specifier is present, trailing data in the string will not cause an error, but a warning instead Use DateTime::getLastErrors to find out whether trailing data was present.

Unrecognized characters in the format string will cause the parsing to fail and an error message is appended to the returned structure. You can query error messages with DateTime::getLastErrors.

To include literal characters in format, you have to escape them with a backslash (\).

If format does not contain the character ! then portions of the generated time which are not specified in format will be set to the current system time.

If format contains the character !, then portions of the generated time not provided in format, as well as values to the left-hand side of the !, will be set to corresponding values from the Unix epoch.

The Unix epoch is 1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC.


String representing the time.


A DateTimeZone object representing the desired time zone.

If timezone is omitted or null and datetime contains no timezone, the current timezone will be used.


The timezone parameter and the current timezone are ignored when the datetime parameter either contains a UNIX timestamp (e.g. 946684800) or specifies a timezone (e.g. 2010-01-28T15:00:00+02:00).

Return Values

Returns a new DateTime instance or false on failure.


Version Description
7.3.0 The v format specifier has been added.

Related Functions

Example of DateTime::createFromFormat

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Function DateTime::createFromFormat:

Date and Time Functions

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