How to Use the UNIX Timestamp Converter
The epoch time, commonly referred to as UNIX time or POSIX time, describes instants in time as the number of seconds that have elapsed since 00:00:00 on 1 January 1970.
In other words, the system represents different dates as elapsed seconds. A UNIX timestamp can be used to schedule special actions for a certain moment in time.
Find out how you can use our free UNIX time converter:
- Step #1: At the top of the page, the tool will display the current date and time in UNIX timestamp format and YYYY/MM/DD HH/MM/SS format. Underneath the current time, there are two timestamp converters: one changes times in the normal format into the epoch format and the second can be used to change a UNIX timestamp into normal time format.
- Step #2: If you wish to convert a date and time into epoch time, simply enter the date and click on the “Convert to UNIX” button. The UNIX time converter will display the epoch timestamp, timestamp in milliseconds, human time (GMT) and human time (in your time zone).
- Step #3: If you wish to convert a time from UNIX format, simply paste the timestamp into the other field and click on “Convert to timestamp”. The epoch will be translated into human time.
Why you should use the UNIX timestamp converter
With the help of our tool, you can instantly create UNIX timestamps for use in one-time text message, tasks or event scheduling. This parameter is used widely in UNIX-like and other operating systems and file formats. Because epoch time does not count leap seconds, it cannot be used in the linear representation of time.
Why we built this tool
Encoding time as a number that increments every second, without requiring complicated calculations to determine the second, hour, day, month and year (intelligible to humans) makes it easier for computing systems to perform time-based actions. We built the epoch time converter to help you perform scheduling actions easily.
Note: For more information about the use of the UNIX timestamp in one-time SMS scheduling, please read this section of our API documentation.
Benefits of using the UNIX converter
Many coders wonder what the best uses for UNIX timestamps are. Here are a few examples of their benefits and applications:
- PHP and MySQL timestamps mean easier manipulations from PHP and MySQL.
- UNIX timestamps can be used to represent a small range of date-times, from 1901 to 2038.
- Converting normalised dates into epoch timestamps ensures cross language and platform compatibility.
- Epoch times are also used by computer systems in sorting and tracking dated information in distributed applications (online and client-side).
Note: For more information about the applications of UNIX timestamps, please visit this StackOverflow thread.
Is there a difference between epoch time and UNIX time?
Although UNIX time and epoch time are often used synonymously, they mean different things. Literally speaking, the epoch represents UNIX time 0 (midnight at the start of 1 January 1970). UNIX time, or the UNIX timestamp, refers to the number of seconds that have elapsed since the epoch.
Why can UNIX time only represent date-times between 1901 and 2038?
UNIX data represents different points in time as signed integers, traditionally of 32 bits, by encoding the UNIX timestamp. Because it uses 32 bits, UNIX time can only cover approximately 136 years in total. In other words, the maximum representable time for UNIX time is 19 January 2038 and the minimum representable time is 13 December 1901.
Date & timeTimes that occurred before 1970 (the epoch time) have a negative value. When the counter passes the maximum date, the counter will ‘run out’ and time will ‘wrap around’ and be stored as a negative number (13 December 1901). This is referred to as the UNIX millennium bug.
What are the common time measures in epoch time?
Here is a list of examples for common time measures in epoch time:
- One millisecond = 1/1000 in UNIX time
- One second = 1 in UNIX time
- One minute = 60 in UNIX time
- 10 minutes = 600 in UNIX time
- One month = 2,419,200 for 28-day months, 2,505,600 for 29-day months, 2,592,000 for 30-day months and 2,678,400 for 31-day months
- One year = 31,536,000 in UNIX time