Fraser Hamilton

How to get a timestamp in JavaScript

July 21, 2020

When working with dates and times it’s often useful to be able to represent your point in time as a single number. A good example of this in practice is Unix Timestamps, where it is represented as the number of seconds that have passed since the Unix epoch; 00:00:00 UTC on 1 January 1970.

In JavaScript we can achieve something similar by leveraging the native Date object. By using Date.now() we can get the UTC timestamp in milliseconds.

console.log(Date.now())

// 1595331292901

It’s also possible to use this short hand that uses a unary operator to trigger the valueOf method on our Date object.

console.log(+new Date())

// 1595331292901

If you wanted to then convert these to seconds to match the Unix Epoch Time you would just do this:

Math.floor(Date.now() / 1000)

// 1595331292


Written by Fraser Hamilton a full stack developer based out of Edinburgh, Scotland.

© 2020, Fraser Hamilton