How do you convert a JavaScript date to UTC?

How do you convert a JavaScript date to UTC?

Suppose a user of your website enters a date range.
2009-1-1 to 2009-1-3

You need to send this date to a server for some processing, but the server expects all dates and times to be in UTC.
Now suppose the user is in Alaska or Hawaii or Fiji. Since they are in a timezone quite different from UTC, the date range needs to be converted to something like this:
2009-1-1T8:00:00 to 2009-1-4T7:59:59

Using the JavaScript Date object, how would you convert the first “localized” date range into something the server will understand?


Solution 1:

The toISOString() method returns a string in simplified extended ISO
format (ISO 8601), which is always 24 or 27 characters long
(YYYY-MM-DDTHH:mm:ss.sssZ or ±YYYYYY-MM-DDTHH:mm:ss.sssZ,
respectively). The timezone is always zero UTC offset, as denoted by
the suffix “Z“.

Source: MDN web docs

The format you need is created with the .toISOString() method. For older browsers (ie8 and under), which don’t natively support this method, the shim can be found here:

This will give you the ability to do what you need:

var isoDate = new Date('yourdatehere').toISOString();

For Timezone work, moment.js and moment.js timezone are really invaluable tools…especially for navigating timezones between client and server javascript.

Solution 2:

Simple and stupid

var date = new Date(); 
var now_utc =  Date.UTC(date.getUTCFullYear(), date.getUTCMonth(), date.getUTCDate(),
 date.getUTCHours(), date.getUTCMinutes(), date.getUTCSeconds());

 return new Date(now_utc);

Solution 3:

Here’s my method:

var now = new Date();
var utc = new Date(now.getTime() + now.getTimezoneOffset() * 60000);

The resulting utc object isn’t really a UTC date, but a local date shifted to match the UTC time (see comments). However, in practice it does the job.

Solution 4:

Date.prototype.toUTCArray= function(){
    var D= this;
    return [D.getUTCFullYear(), D.getUTCMonth(), D.getUTCDate(), D.getUTCHours(),
    D.getUTCMinutes(), D.getUTCSeconds()];

Date.prototype.toISO= function(){
    var tem, A= this.toUTCArray(), i= 0;
    A[1]+= 1;
        tem= A[i];
        if(tem<10) A[i]= '0'+tem;
    return A.splice(0, 3).join('-')+'T'+A.join(':');    

Solution 5:

Convert to ISO without changing date/time

var now = new Date(); // Fri Feb 20 2015 19:29:31 GMT+0530 (India Standard Time) 
var isoDate = new Date(now.getTime() - now.getTimezoneOffset() * 60000).toISOString();
//OUTPUT : 2015-02-20T19:29:31.238Z

Convert to ISO with change in date/time(date/time will be changed)

isoDate = new Date(now).toISOString();
//OUTPUT : 2015-02-20T13:59:31.238Z 

Fiddle link

Solution 6:

Browsers may differ, and you should also remember to not trust any info generated by the client, that being said, the below statement works for me (Google Chrome v24 on Mac OS X 10.8.2)

var utcDate = new Date(new Date().getTime());

edit: “How is this different than just new Date()?” see here:

  • If no arguments are provided, the constructor creates a JavaScript Date object for the current date and time according to system settings.
  • Note: Where Date is called as a constructor with more than one argument, the specifed arguments represent local time. If UTC is desired, use new Date(Date.UTC(…)) with the same arguments. (note: Date.UTC() returns the number of millisecond since 1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC)

Adding the 60000 * Date.getTimezoneOffset() as previous answers have stated is incorrect. First, you must think of all Dates/Times as already being UTC with a timezone modifier for display purposes.

Again, browsers may differ, however, Date.getTime() returns the number of milliseconds since 1970-01-01 UTC/GMT. If you create a new Date using this number as I do above, it will be UTC/GMT. However, if you display it by calling .toString() it will appear to be in your local timezone because .toString() uses your local timezone, not the timezone of the Date object it is called on.

I have also found that if you call .getTimezoneOffset() on a date, it will return your local timezone, not the timezone of the date object you called it on (I can’t verify this to be standard however).

In my browser, adding 60000 * Date.getTimezoneOffset() creates a DateTime that is not UTC. However when displayed within my browser (ex: .toString() ), it displays a DateTime in my local timezone that would be correct UTC time if timezone info is ignored.