The toLocaleTimeString() method of Date instances returns a string with a language-sensitive representation of the time portion of this date in the local timezone. In implementations with Intl.DateTimeFormat API support, this method simply calls Intl.DateTimeFormat.

Every time toLocaleTimeString is called, it has to perform a search in a big database of localization strings, which is potentially inefficient. When the method is called many times with the same arguments, it is better to create a Intl.DateTimeFormat object and use its format() method, because a DateTimeFormat object remembers the arguments passed to it and may decide to cache a slice of the database, so future format calls can search for localization strings within a more constrained context.

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toLocaleTimeString(locales, options)


The locales and options parameters customize the behavior of the function and let applications specify the language whose formatting conventions should be used.

In implementations that support the Intl.DateTimeFormat API, these parameters correspond exactly to the Intl.DateTimeFormat() constructor's parameters. Implementations without Intl.DateTimeFormat support are asked to ignore both parameters, making the locale used and the form of the string returned entirely implementation-dependent.

locales Optional

A string with a BCP 47 language tag, or an array of such strings. Corresponds to the locales parameter of the Intl.DateTimeFormat() constructor.

In implementations without Intl.DateTimeFormat support, this parameter is ignored and the host's locale is usually used.

options Optional

An object adjusting the output format. Corresponds to the options parameter of the Intl.DateTimeFormat() constructor. If dayPeriod, hour, minute, second, and fractionalSecondDigits are all undefined, then hour, minute, second will be set to "numeric".

In implementations without Intl.DateTimeFormat support, this parameter is ignored.

See the Intl.DateTimeFormat() constructor for details on these parameters and how to use them.

Return value

A string representing the time portion of the given date according to language-specific conventions.

In implementations with Intl.DateTimeFormat, this is equivalent to new Intl.DateTimeFormat(locales, options).format(date), where options has been normalized as described above.

Note: Most of the time, the formatting returned by toLocaleTimeString() is consistent. However, the output may vary between implementations, even within the same locale — output variations are by design and allowed by the specification. It may also not be what you expect. For example, the string may use non-breaking spaces or be surrounded by bidirectional control characters. You should not compare the results of toLocaleTimeString() to hardcoded constants.


Using toLocaleTimeString()

Basic use of this method without specifying a locale returns a formatted string in the default locale and with default options.

const date = new Date(Date.UTC(2012, 11, 12, 3, 0, 0));

// toLocaleTimeString() without arguments depends on the implementation,
// the default locale, and the default time zone
// "7:00:00 PM" if run in en-US locale with time zone America/Los_Angeles

Checking for support for locales and options parameters

The locales and options parameters may not be supported in all implementations, because support for the internationalization API is optional, and some systems may not have the necessary data. For implementations without internationalization support, toLocaleTimeString() always uses the system's locale, which may not be what you want. Because any implementation that supports the locales and options parameters must support the Intl API, you can check the existence of the latter for support:

function toLocaleTimeStringSupportsLocales() {
  return (
    typeof Intl === "object" &&
    !!Intl &&
    typeof Intl.DateTimeFormat === "function"

Using locales

This example shows some of the variations in localized time formats. In order to get the format of the language used in the user interface of your application, make sure to specify that language (and possibly some fallback languages) using the locales argument:

const date = new Date(Date.UTC(2012, 11, 20, 3, 0, 0));

// formats below assume the local time zone of the locale;
// America/Los_Angeles for the US

// US English uses 12-hour time with AM/PM
// "7:00:00 PM"

// British English uses 24-hour time without AM/PM
// "03:00:00"

// Korean uses 12-hour time with AM/PM
// "오후 12:00:00"

// Arabic in most Arabic speaking countries uses real Arabic digits
// "٧:٠٠:٠٠ م"

// when requesting a language that may not be supported, such as
// Balinese, include a fallback language, in this case Indonesian
console.log(date.toLocaleTimeString(["ban", "id"]));
// "11.00.00"

Using options

The results provided by toLocaleTimeString() can be customized using the options parameter:

const date = new Date(Date.UTC(2012, 11, 20, 3, 0, 0));

// An application may want to use UTC and make that visible
const options = { timeZone: "UTC", timeZoneName: "short" };
console.log(date.toLocaleTimeString("en-US", options));
// "3:00:00 AM GMT"

// Sometimes even the US needs 24-hour time
console.log(date.toLocaleTimeString("en-US", { hour12: false }));
// "19:00:00"

// Show only hours and minutes, use options with the default locale - use an empty array
  date.toLocaleTimeString([], { hour: "2-digit", minute: "2-digit" }),
// "20:01"


ECMAScript Language Specification
# sec-date.prototype.tolocaletimestring
ECMAScript Internationalization API Specification
# sup-date.prototype.tolocaletimestring

Browser compatibility

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See also