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String to DateTime in C# and VB.Net

Convert String to DateTime

In .Net, you can work with date and time easy with the DateTime class. You can use the methods like Convert.ToDateTime(String), DateTime.Parse() and DateTime.ParseExact() methods for converting a string-based date to a System.DateTime object.


This method will convert the specified string representation of a date and time to an equivalent date and time value


string iDate = "05/05/2005";
DateTime oDate = Convert.ToDateTime(iDate);
MessageBox.Show(oDate.Day + " " + oDate.Month + "  " + oDate.Year );


Dim iDate As String = "05/05/2005"
Dim oDate As DateTime = Convert.ToDateTime(iDate)
MsgBox(oDate.Day & " " & oDate.Month & "  " & oDate.Year)


DateTime.Parse method supports many formats. It is very forgiving in terms of syntax and will parse dates in many different formats. That means, this method can parse only strings consisting exactly of a date/time presentation, it cannot look for date/time among the text.


string iDate = "2005-05-05";
DateTime oDate = DateTime.Parse(iDate);
MessageBox.Show(oDate.Day + " " + oDate.Month + "  " + oDate.Year);


Dim iDate As String = "2005-05-05"
Dim oDate As DateTime = DateTime.Parse(iDate)
MsgBox(oDate.Day & " " & oDate.Month & "  " & oDate.Year)


ParseExact method will allow you to specify the exact format of your date string to use for parsing. It is good to use this if your string is always in the same format. The format of the string representation must match the specified format exactly.


string iString = "2005-05-05 22:12 PM";
DateTime oDate = DateTime.ParseExact(iString, "yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm tt",null);


Dim iString As String = "2005-05-05 22:12 PM"
Dim oDate As DateTime = DateTime.ParseExact(iString, "yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm tt", Nothing)

The null(Nothing) parameter is the CultureInfo object that corresponds to the current culture is used.


When numbers, dates and times are formatted into strings or parsed from strings, then a culture (CultureInfo)is used to determine how it is done. If you know what specific culture that your dates and decimal or currency values will be in ahead of time, you can use that specific CultureInfo property, e.g. CultureInfo(“en-US”).

The CultureInfo.InvariantCulture property is neither a neutral nor a specific culture. It is the third type of culture that is culture-insensitive. It is associated with the English language but not with a country or region.


string iString = "2005-05-05 22:12 PM";
DateTime oDate = DateTime.ParseExact(iString, "yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm tt", System.Globalization.CultureInfo.InvariantCulture);


Dim iString As String = "2005-05-05 22:12 PM"
Dim oDate As DateTime = DateTime.ParseExact(iString, "yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm tt", System.Globalization.CultureInfo.InvariantCulture)

DateTime.TryParse method

DateTime.TryParse converts the specified string representation of a date and time to its DateTime equivalent using the specified culture-specific format information and formatting style and returns a value that indicates whether the conversion succeeded.

public static bool TryParse(
	string s,
	out DateTime result

This method is similar to the DateTime.Parse(String) method, except that the TryParse(String, DateTime) method does not throw an exception if the conversion fails. Also, this method tries to ignore unrecognized data, if possible and fills in a missing month, day, and year information with the current date. The TryParse method is culture-dependent, so be very careful if you decide to use it.

using System;
using System.Windows.Forms;
using System.Globalization;
namespace WindowsFormsApplication4
    public partial class Form1 : Form
        public Form1()
        private void button1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
            string inString = "05/01/2009 06:32:00";
            DateTime dateValue;
            if (DateTime.TryParse(inString, out dateValue))
                Console.WriteLine("Converted '{0}' to {1}.", inString, dateValue);
                Console.WriteLine("Unable to convert '{0}' to a date.", inString);

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How to set DateTime object to null?

By default, DateTime is not nullable because it is a Value Type, using the nullable operator introduced in C# 2, you can achieve this. More about….. Datetime object to null

How to find the date difference?

A calculation using a DateTime structure, such as Add or Subtract, does not modify the value of the structure. Instead, the calculation returns a new DateTime structure whose value is the result of the calculation. The DateTime.Subtract method may be used in order to find the date-time difference between two instances of the DateTime method. More about….. Find date difference

DateTimePicker Control

The DateTimePicker control has two parts, a label that displays the selected date and a popup calendar that allows users to select a new date. The most important property of the DateTimePicker is the Value property, which holds the selected date and time. More about….. DateTimePicker

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