_strdate, _wstrdate
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_strdate, _wstrdate

Updated: April 2011

Copy current system date to a buffer. More secure versions of these functions are available; see _strdate_s, _wstrdate_s.

char *_strdate(
   char *datestr 
wchar_t *_wstrdate(
   wchar_t *datestr 
template <size_t size>
char *_strdate(
   char (&datestr)[size]
); // C++ only
template <size_t size>
wchar_t *_wstrdate(
   wchar_t (&datestr)[size]
); // C++ only


A pointer to a buffer containing the formatted date string.

Each of these functions returns a pointer to the resulting character string datestr.

More secure versions of these functions are available; see _strdate_s, _wstrdate_s. It is recommended that the more secure functions be used wherever possible.

The _strdate function copies the current system date to the buffer pointed to by datestr, formatted mm/dd/yy, where mm is two digits representing the month, dd is two digits representing the day, and yy is the last two digits of the year. For example, the string 12/05/99 represents December 5, 1999. The buffer must be at least 9 bytes long.

If datestr is a NULL pointer, the invalid parameter handler is invoked, as described in Parameter Validation. If execution is allowed to continue, these functions return -1 and set errno to EINVAL.

_wstrdate is a wide-character version of _strdate; the argument and return value of _wstrdate are wide-character strings. These functions behave identically otherwise.

In C++, these functions have template overloads that invoke the newer, secure counterparts of these functions. For more information, see Secure Template Overloads.

Generic-Text Routine Mappings

TCHAR.H routine

_UNICODE & _MBCS not defined

_MBCS defined

_UNICODE defined






Required header




<time.h> or <wchar.h>

For additional compatibility information, see Compatibility in the Introduction.

// strdate.c
// compile with: /W3
#include <time.h>
#include <stdio.h>
int main()
    char tmpbuf[9];
    // Set time zone from TZ environment variable. If TZ is not set,
    // the operating system is queried to obtain the default value 
    // for the variable. 

    printf( "OS date: %s\n", _strdate(tmpbuf) ); // C4996
    // Note: _strdate is deprecated; consider using _strdate_s instead
OS date: 04/25/03




April 2011

Fixed reference typo to secure version.

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