The toUTCString() method of Date instances returns a string representing this date in the RFC 7231 format, with negative years allowed. The timezone is always UTC. toGMTString() is an alias of this method.

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Return value

A string representing the given date using the UTC time zone (see description for the format). Returns "Invalid Date" if the date is invalid.


The value returned by toUTCString() is a string in the form Www, dd Mmm yyyy hh:mm:ss GMT, where:

Format String Description
Www Day of week, as three letters (e.g. Sun, Mon)
dd Day of month, as two digits with leading zero if required
Mmm Month, as three letters (e.g. Jan, Feb)
yyyy Year, as four or more digits with leading zeroes if required
hh Hour, as two digits with leading zero if required
mm Minute, as two digits with leading zero if required
ss Seconds, as two digits with leading zero if required


JavaScript's Date API was inspired by Java's java.util.Date library (while the latter had become de facto legacy since Java 1.1 in 1997). In particular, the Java Date class had a method called toGMTString — which was poorly named, because the Greenwich Mean Time is not equivalent to the Coordinated Universal Time, while JavaScript dates always operate by UTC time. For web compatibility reasons, toGMTString remains as an alias to toUTCString, and they refer to the exact same function object. This means:

js === "toUTCString";


Using toUTCString()

const d = new Date(0);
console.log(d.toUTCString()); // 'Thu, 01 Jan 1970 00:00:00 GMT'


ECMAScript Language Specification
# sec-date.prototype.toutcstring

Browser compatibility

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See also