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(PHP 4, PHP 5, PHP 7, PHP 8)

strtotimeParse about any English textual datetime description into a Unix timestamp


strtotime(string $datetime, ?int $baseTimestamp = null): int|false

The function expects to be given a string containing an English date format and will try to parse that format into a Unix timestamp (the number of seconds since January 1 1970 00:00:00 UTC), relative to the timestamp given in baseTimestamp, or the current time if baseTimestamp is not supplied. The date string parsing is defined in Date and Time Formats, and has several subtle considerations. Reviewing the full details there is strongly recommended.


The Unix timestamp that this function returns does not contain information about time zones. In order to do calculations with date/time information, you should use the more capable DateTimeImmutable.

Each parameter of this function uses the default time zone unless a time zone is specified in that parameter. Be careful not to use different time zones in each parameter unless that is intended. See date_default_timezone_get() on the various ways to define the default time zone.



A date/time string. Valid formats are explained in Date and Time Formats.


The timestamp which is used as a base for the calculation of relative dates.

Return Values

Returns a timestamp on success, false otherwise.


Every call to a date/time function will generate a E_WARNING if the time zone is not valid. See also date_default_timezone_set()


Version Description
8.0.0 baseTimestamp is nullable now.


Example #1 A strtotime() example

echo strtotime("now"), "\n";
strtotime("10 September 2000"), "\n";
strtotime("+1 day"), "\n";
strtotime("+1 week"), "\n";
strtotime("+1 week 2 days 4 hours 2 seconds"), "\n";
strtotime("next Thursday"), "\n";
strtotime("last Monday"), "\n";

Example #2 Checking for failure

= 'Not Good';

if ((
$timestamp = strtotime($str)) === false) {
"The string ($str) is bogus";
} else {
"$str == " . date('l dS \o\f F Y h:i:s A', $timestamp);



"Relative" date in this case also means that if a particular component of the date/time stamp is not provided, it will be taken verbatim from the baseTimestamp. That is, strtotime('February'), if run on the 31st of May 2022, will be interpreted as 31 February 2022, which will overflow into a timestamp on 3 March. (In a leap year, it would be 2 March.) Using strtotime('1 February') or strtotime('first day of February') would avoid that problem.


If the number of the year is specified in a two digit format, the values between 00-69 are mapped to 2000-2069 and 70-99 to 1970-1999. See the notes below for possible differences on 32bit systems (possible dates might end on 2038-01-19 03:14:07).


The valid range of a timestamp is typically from Fri, 13 Dec 1901 20:45:54 UTC to Tue, 19 Jan 2038 03:14:07 UTC. (These are the dates that correspond to the minimum and maximum values for a 32-bit signed integer.)

For 64-bit versions of PHP, the valid range of a timestamp is effectively infinite, as 64 bits can represent approximately 293 billion years in either direction.


Using this function for mathematical operations is not advisable. It is better to use DateTime::add() and DateTime::sub().

See Also

add a note

User Contributed Notes 3 notes

Vyacheslav Belchuk
1 year ago
Be careful when using two numbers as the year. I came across this situation:


echo strtotime('24.11.22');
date('d.m.Y H:i:s', 1669324282) . "\n\n";

// But
echo strtotime('24.11.2022');
date('d.m.Y H:i:s', 1669237200);



25.11.2022 00:11:22

24.11.2022 00:00:00
info at pipasjourney dot com
1 year ago
Be aware of this: 1 month before the 31st day, it will return the same month:

echo date('m', strtotime('2023-05-30 -1 month')) ; //returns 04
echo date('m', strtotime('2023-05-31 -1 month')) ; //returns 05, not 04

So, don't use this to operate on the month of the result.
A better way to know what month was the previous month would be:

//considering today is 2023-05-31...

$firstOfThisMonth = date('Y-m') . '-01'; //returns 2023-05-01
echo date('m', strtotime($firstOfThisMonth . ' -1 month')) ; //returns 04
et dot coder at gmail dot com
3 months ago
> The Unix timestamp that this function returns does not contain information about time zones. In order to do calculations with date/time information, you should use the more capable DateTimeImmutable.

important - does not contain


// .... a lot of code

echo $a = strtotime('yesterday 00:00');

// in $a hour = 23:00:00 and you may not know about it
// use DateTimeImmutable
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