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DateTime.ToString Method

Converts the value of the current DateTime object to its equivalent string representation.

Namespace:  System
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)
public override string ToString()

Return Value

Type: System.String
A string representation of the value of the current DateTime object.
ExceptionCondition
ArgumentOutOfRangeException

The date and time is outside the range of dates supported by the calendar used by the current culture.

The value of the current DateTime object is formatted using the general date and time format specifier ('G'). To format it using a specific date and time format specifier, call the ToString(String) method. To format it using the general date and time format specifier ('G') for a specific culture, call the ToString(IFormatProvider) method. To format it using a specific date and time format specifier and the conventions of a specific culture, call the ToString(String, IFormatProvider) method.

This method uses formatting information derived from the current culture. In particular, it combines the custom format strings returned by the ShortDatePattern and LongTimePattern properties of the DateTimeFormatInfo object returned by the Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture.DateTimeFormat property. For more information, see CultureInfo.CurrentCulture. Other overloads of the ToString method enable you to specify the culture whose formatting to use and to define the output pattern of the DateTime value.

Notes to Callers

The ToString() method returns the string representation of the date and time in the calendar used by the current culture. If the value of the current DateTime instance is earlier than Calendar.MinSupportedDateTime or later than Calendar.MaxSupportedDateTime, the method throws an ArgumentOutOfRangeException. The following example provides an illustration. It attempts to format a date that is outside the range of the HijriCalendar class when the current culture is Arabic (Syria).

using System;
using System.Globalization;
using System.Threading;

public class Example
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      DateTime date1 = new DateTime(550, 1, 1);
      CultureInfo dft;
      CultureInfo arSY = new CultureInfo("ar-SY");
      arSY.DateTimeFormat.Calendar = new HijriCalendar();

      // Change current culture to ar-SY.
      dft = Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture;
      Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = arSY;

      // Display the date using the current culture's calendar.             
      try {
         Console.WriteLine(date1.ToString());
      }
      catch (ArgumentOutOfRangeException) {
         Console.WriteLine("{0} is earlier than {1} or later than {2}", 
                           date1.ToString("d", CultureInfo.InvariantCulture), 
                           arSY.DateTimeFormat.Calendar.MinSupportedDateTime.ToString("d", CultureInfo.InvariantCulture),  
                           arSY.DateTimeFormat.Calendar.MaxSupportedDateTime.ToString("d", CultureInfo.InvariantCulture)); 
      }

      // Restore the default culture.
      Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = dft;
   }
}
// The example displays the following output: 
//    01/01/0550 is earlier than 07/18/0622 or later than 12/31/9999

The following example illustrates how the string representation of a DateTime value returned by the ToString() method depends on the thread current culture. It changes the current thread culture from en-US to fr-FR to ja-JP. and in each case calls the ToString() method to return the string representation of a date and time value using that culture.

using System;
using System.Globalization;
using System.Threading;

public class DateToStringExample
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      CultureInfo currentCulture = Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture;
      DateTime exampleDate = new DateTime(2008, 5, 1, 18, 32, 6);

      // Display the date using the current (en-US) culture.
      Console.WriteLine(exampleDate.ToString());

      // Change the current culture to fr-FR and display the date.
      Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture("fr-FR");
      Console.WriteLine(exampleDate.ToString());

      // Change the current culture to ja-JP and display the date.
      Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture("ja-JP");
      Console.WriteLine(exampleDate.ToString());

      // Restore the original culture
      Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = currentCulture;
   }
}
// The example displays the following output to the console: 
//       5/1/2008 6:32:06 PM 
//       01/05/2008 18:32:06 
//       2008/05/01 18:32:06

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.5.1, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Portable Class Library

Supported in: Portable Class Library

.NET for Windows Store apps

Supported in: Windows 8

.NET for Windows Phone apps

Supported in: Windows Phone 8.1, Windows Phone 8, Silverlight 8.1

Windows Phone 8.1, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core Role not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core Role supported with SP1 or later; Itanium not supported)

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

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