How do I convert String to Date object in Java?

The following code shows how we can convert a string representation of date into java.util.Date object.

To convert a string of date we can use the help from java.text.SimpleDateFormat that extends java.text.DateFormat abstract class.

package org.kodejava.example.text;

import java.text.DateFormat;
import java.text.ParseException;
import java.text.SimpleDateFormat;
import java.util.Date;

public class ConvertStringToDateExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        DateFormat df = new SimpleDateFormat("dd/MM/yyyy");

        try {
            Date today = df.parse("20/12/2005");
            System.out.println("Today = " + df.format(today));
        } catch (ParseException e) {

And here is the result of our code:

Today = 20/12/2005

The example starts by creating an instance of SimpleDateFormat with dd/MM/yyyy format which mean that the date string is formatted in day-month-year sequence.

Finally using the parse(String source) method we can get the Date instance. Because parse method can throw java.text.ParseException exception if the supplied date is not in a valid format; we need to catch it.

Here are the list of defined patterns that can be used to format the date taken from the Java class documentation.

Letter Date / Time Component Examples
G Era designator AD
y Year 1996; 96
M Month in year July; Jul; 07
w Week in year 27
W Week in month 2
D Day in year 189
d Day in month 10
F Day of week in month 2
E Day in week Tuesday; Tue
a Am/pm marker PM
H Hour in day (0-23) 0
k Hour in day (1-24) 24
K Hour in am/pm (0-11) 0
h Hour in am/pm (1-12) 12
m Minute in hour 30
s Second in minute 55
S Millisecond 978
z Time zone Pacific Standard Time; PST; GMT-08:00
Z Time zone -0800

Wayan Saryada

A programmer, runner, recreational diver, currently living in the island of Bali, Indonesia. Mostly programming in Java, creating web based application with Spring Framework, JPA, etc. If you need help on Java programming you can hire me on Fiverr.

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