Java Date getTime()

In this guide, you will learn about the Date getTime() method in Java programming and how to use it with an example.

1. Date getTime() Method Overview


The getTime() method of the Date class in Java returns the number of milliseconds since January 1, 1970, 00:00:00 GMT (known as the Unix epoch) represented by the Date object.


public long getTime()



Key Points:

- The returned value is long which represents the milliseconds since the epoch.

- It can be used to compare two date objects or to perform arithmetic operations involving dates.

- This method provides a way to interoperate between the Date class and newer date-time APIs, such as Instant and LocalDateTime.

2. Date getTime() Method Example

import java.util.Date;

public class DateGetTimeExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // Creating a Date object for the current date and time
        Date currentDate = new Date();

        // Retrieving the number of milliseconds since the epoch
        long millisSinceEpoch = currentDate.getTime();

        // Printing the milliseconds
        System.out.println("Milliseconds since epoch: " + millisSinceEpoch);


Milliseconds since epoch: [Displays the number of milliseconds since the epoch]


In the example, we create an instance of the Date object representing the current date and time. Using the getTime() method, we retrieve the number of milliseconds since the Unix epoch. Finally, we print out this value.