From Unix Time to Human Date: Learn How to Convert Timestamps in JavaScript with Real Code Examples!

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. Unix Time Explained
  3. Converting Unix Time to Human Date with JavaScript
  4. Real Code Example 1: Converting Unix Time to Human Date with Built-in Methods
  5. Real Code Example 2: Converting Unix Time to Human Date with Moment.js Library
  6. Conclusion
  7. Resources
  8. Glossary


In today's world of computing, timestamps are an essential feature used to keep track of time in various applications. However, timestamps are usually represented in Unix time format, which is not very user-friendly for humans to read. That's where timestamp conversion comes in handy. JavaScript has built-in functions that simplify the conversion process from Unix time to human-readable dates. In this article, we will explore the process of timestamp conversion in JavaScript, starting from the basics of Unix time and moving on to real code examples. Whether you are a beginner programmer or an experienced one, this article will provide you with the tools you need to master timestamp conversion in JavaScript. So, let's dive in!

Unix Time Explained

Unix Time is a system for representing time as the number of seconds since midnight on January 1, 1970, UTC. This system is widely used in computing as a standard reference for time, especially in operating systems like Unix and Linux. Unix Time is also known as Epoch Time or POSIX Time, and it is a common format for storing and exchanging time data between different systems and applications.

One of the main advantages of Unix Time is its simplicity and universality. Since it is based on a fixed reference point and a single unit of measurement, it is easy to convert between different time zones, languages, and calendars. Unix Time also allows for precise and accurate calculations of time durations, intervals, and differences, which are essential for many applications such as scheduling, logging, and analytics.

However, Unix Time has some limitations and challenges, especially when it comes to human readability and usability. Unix Time values are usually represented as long integers or floating-point numbers, which are not intuitive or meaningful for most people. Therefore, it requires additional effort and knowledge to convert Unix Time to human-readable formats such as dates, times, or strings.

Fortunately, JavaScript provides built-in methods and libraries for converting Unix Time to human dates and times, as well as formatting them according to various styles and preferences. By using these tools, developers can easily handle Unix Time data and make it more user-friendly and accessible.

Converting Unix Time to Human Date with JavaScript

is a fairly common task in web development. Fortunately, JavaScript makes it easy to convert Unix timestamps to human-readable dates. First, we need to understand what a Unix timestamp is. In short, it is the number of seconds that have elapsed since January 1, 1970, at 00:00:00 UTC.

To convert a Unix timestamp to a human-readable date, we can use the built-in Date() constructor in JavaScript. We simply create a new Date object using the Unix timestamp as an argument and then use various methods to extract the components of the date and time.

For example, let's say we have a Unix timestamp of 1635596192. We can convert it to a human-readable date with the following code:

const unixTimestamp = 1635596192;
const date = new Date(unixTimestamp * 1000);
const year = date.getFullYear();
const month = date.getMonth() + 1;
const day = date.getDate();
const hours = date.getHours();
const minutes = "0" + date.getMinutes();
const seconds = "0" + date.getSeconds();
const formattedTime = `${month}/${day}/${year} ${hours}:${minutes.substr(-2)}:${seconds.substr(-2)}`;


This code will output the following date and time in the format of MM/DD/YYYY HH:MM:SS:

10/30/2021 10:03:12

Note that we multiply the Unix timestamp by 1000 before passing it to the Date() constructor because JavaScript works with milliseconds rather than seconds.

In summary, is a simple task that can be accomplished using the Date() constructor and various methods to extract the components of the date and time.

Real Code Example 1: Converting Unix Time to Human Date with Built-in Methods

One of the most common tasks we encounter when working with timestamps in JavaScript is converting Unix time to a human-readable date format. Fortunately, JavaScript provides built-in methods that make this conversion process intuitive and straightforward.

To convert Unix time to a human date, we can use the built-in Date() constructor and its setTime() method. The setTime() method takes the Unix time value in milliseconds as an argument and sets the Date object to that specific time. We can then use other built-in methods such as getFullYear(), getMonth(), getDate(), getHours(), getMinutes(), and getSeconds() to obtain the relevant date and time values.

For example, let's say we have a Unix time value of 1626411392000. We can convert this value to a human-readable format using the following code:

const unixTime = 1626411392000;
const date = new Date(unixTime);

const year = date.getFullYear();
const month = date.getMonth() + 1; // JS months are 0-based, so we add 1 to get the actual month
const day = date.getDate();

const hours = date.getHours();
const minutes = date.getMinutes();
const seconds = date.getSeconds();

console.log(`${day}/${month}/${year} ${hours}:${minutes}:${seconds}`);

This code will output the date and time in the format of "day/month/year hours:minutes:seconds", like so: "15/7/2021 14:36:32".

Using these built-in methods, we can easily convert Unix time values to human-readable dates without having to write a lot of custom code. This can save us time and effort, especially if we are working with a lot of timestamps in our JavaScript code.

Real Code Example 2: Converting Unix Time to Human Date with Moment.js Library

When it comes to handling dates and times in JavaScript, libraries can provide a wealth of functionality that is not available in the core language. One popular library for this purpose is Moment.js, which offers many features for parsing, formatting, and manipulating dates.

To convert Unix time to human-readable date in JavaScript using Moment.js, we simply need to create a Moment object using the Unix timestamp as input, and then format it according to our desired output. Here's an example:

var unixTime = 1622363375;
var humanDate = moment.unix(unixTime).format("MMMM DD, YYYY hh:mm:ss A");
console.log(humanDate); // Output: "May 30, 2021 03:42:55 PM"

In this example, we first declare a Unix timestamp 1622363375, which corresponds to the moment on May 30, 2021 at 3:42:55 PM. We then use the moment function to create a Moment object with this timestamp, like so: moment.unix(unixTime).

Finally, we use the format function to specify the desired output format for our human-readable date. In this case, we've used the format string "MMMM DD, YYYY hh:mm:ss A", which outputs a date in the format of "Month day, year hour:minute:second AM/PM".

By using the Moment.js library, we can handle dates and times in JavaScript with ease and precision. Its flexible and intuitive API enables us to manipulate dates to meet our specific needs, making it an invaluable tool for developers who need to perform date-related operations in their code.


In , we have seen how important it is to be able to convert Unix timestamps to human-readable dates for various applications. In JavaScript, we can use built-in methods or third-party libraries to perform this conversion efficiently. It is important to keep in mind the different formats and time zones when dealing with timestamps to ensure accurate and consistent results.

As we look to the future of programming, the use of Large Language Models (LLMs) and upcoming technologies such as GPT-4 have the potential to revolutionize the way we write code. With the ability to generate natural language code from pseudocode, LLMs can greatly improve developer productivity and reduce errors. However, these technologies are still in development and it remains to be seen how they will be integrated into existing programming workflows.

Regardless of the tools we use, the ability to effectively work with timestamps is a crucial skill for any developer. With the knowledge and resources available, we can continue to improve our ability to convert and manipulate timestamps in our code.


When it comes to converting timestamps in JavaScript, there are a variety of available to help developers get the job done efficiently and accurately. One popular resource for working with timestamps is Moment.js, a library that makes it easy to manipulate, format, and parse dates in JavaScript.

Another valuable resource for developers is the use of pseudocode. This is a high-level description of a computer program or algorithm, often expressed in natural language, that can help developers understand and communicate the logic of their code without getting bogged down in implementation details. By breaking down complex tasks into smaller steps and writing out the logic behind each step in plain language, developers can more easily identify and correct errors in their code.

However, as technology continues to improve, developers now have access to even more advanced for working with timestamps and other programming tasks. Large Language Models (LLMs) like GPT-4 hold particular promise for the future of code development, as they allow developers to generate functional code simply by describing the intended behavior in natural language. In a recent demonstration, GPT-4 was able to generate working pseudocode for a variety of basic programming challenges, showing the potential for these models to greatly streamline the coding process.

While LLMs may not yet be widely available or fully integrated into the development process, their potential for improving code efficiency and accuracy is certainly something to keep an eye on in the years to come. In the meantime, developers can continue to rely on like Moment.js and pseudocode to help them tackle even the most complex timestamp conversions with ease.


Unix Time: Unix time, also known as POSIX time or epoch time, is a system for representing a point in time as the number of seconds that have elapsed since January 1, 1970 at 00:00:00 UTC.

Timestamp: A timestamp is a piece of data that represents a specific point in time. It is commonly used in computer systems to record the time of events, such as when a file was created or modified.

JavaScript: JavaScript is a programming language that is commonly used for creating interactive web pages and web applications. It is supported by all modern web browsers and can also be used to create server-side applications.

Conversion: Conversion refers to the process of changing the format or representation of data from one form to another. In the context of this article, it refers specifically to converting Unix timestamps to human-readable dates and times using JavaScript.

Pseudocode: Pseudocode is a high-level, informal description of the steps involved in solving a problem or performing a task. It is often used as a planning tool before writing actual code.

Large Language Model (LLM): A large language model (LLM) is a type of artificial intelligence system that is capable of processing and generating human language. LLMs are typically trained on vast amounts of text data and use statistical methods to model the structure and meaning of language.

GPT-4: GPT-4 is a hypothetical future version of the Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) language model, which is currently one of the most advanced LLMs in existence. While GPT-4 does not yet exist, it is expected to have even greater language processing capabilities than its predecessor, GPT-3.

Cloud Computing and DevOps Engineering have always been my driving passions, energizing me with enthusiasm and a desire to stay at the forefront of technological innovation. I take great pleasure in innovating and devising workarounds for complex problems. Drawing on over 8 years of professional experience in the IT industry, with a focus on Cloud Computing and DevOps Engineering, I have a track record of success in designing and implementing complex infrastructure projects from diverse perspectives, and devising strategies that have significantly increased revenue. I am currently seeking a challenging position where I can leverage my competencies in a professional manner that maximizes productivity and exceeds expectations.

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