How to convert local time string to UTC? How to convert local time string to UTC? python python

How to convert local time string to UTC?

First, parse the string into a naive datetime object. This is an instance of datetime.datetime with no attached timezone information. See its documentation.

Use the pytz module, which comes with a full list of time zones + UTC. Figure out what the local timezone is, construct a timezone object from it, and manipulate and attach it to the naive datetime.

Finally, use datetime.astimezone() method to convert the datetime to UTC.

Source code, using local timezone "America/Los_Angeles", for the string "2001-2-3 10:11:12":

from datetime import datetime   import pytzlocal = pytz.timezone("America/Los_Angeles")naive = datetime.strptime("2001-2-3 10:11:12", "%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S")local_dt = local.localize(naive, is_dst=None)utc_dt = local_dt.astimezone(pytz.utc)

From there, you can use the strftime() method to format the UTC datetime as needed:

utc_dt.strftime("%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S")

NOTE -- As of 2020 you should not be using .utcnow() or .utcfromtimestamp(xxx). As you've presumably moved on to python3,you should be using timezone aware datetime objects.

>>> from datetime import timezone>>> dt_now =>>> dt_ts = datetime.fromtimestamp(1571595618.0, tz=timezone.utc)

for details see:see:

original answer (from 2010):

The datetime module's utcnow() function can be used to obtain the current UTC time.

>>> import datetime>>> utc_datetime = datetime.datetime.utcnow()>>> utc_datetime.strftime("%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S")'2010-02-01 06:59:19'

As the link mentioned above by Tom: says:

UTC is a timezone without daylight saving time and still a timezonewithout configuration changes in the past.

Always measure and store time in UTC.

If you need to record where the time was taken, store that separately.Do not store the local time + timezone information!

NOTE - If any of your data is in a region that uses DST, use pytz and take a look at John Millikin's answer.

If you want to obtain the UTC time from a given string and your lucky enough to be in a region in the world that either doesn't use DST, or you have data that is only offset from UTC without DST applied:

--> using local time as the basis for the offset value:

>>> # Obtain the UTC Offset for the current system:>>> UTC_OFFSET_TIMEDELTA = datetime.datetime.utcnow() ->>> local_datetime = datetime.datetime.strptime("2008-09-17 14:04:00", "%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S")>>> result_utc_datetime = local_datetime + UTC_OFFSET_TIMEDELTA>>> result_utc_datetime.strftime("%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S")'2008-09-17 04:04:00'

--> Or, from a known offset, using datetime.timedelta():

>>> UTC_OFFSET = 10>>> result_utc_datetime = local_datetime - datetime.timedelta(hours=UTC_OFFSET)>>> result_utc_datetime.strftime("%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S")'2008-09-17 04:04:00'


Since python 3.2 datetime.timezone is available. You can generate a timezone aware datetime object with the command below:

import datetimetimezone_aware_dt =

If your ready to take on timezone conversions go read this:

Thanks @rofly, the full conversion from string to string is as follows:

time.strftime("%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S",               time.gmtime(time.mktime(time.strptime("2008-09-17 14:04:00",                                                     "%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S"))))

My summary of the time/calendar functions:

string --> tuple (no timezone applied, so matches string)

local time tuple --> seconds since epoch (always local time)

seconds since epoch --> tuple in UTC


tuple in UTC --> seconds since epoch

seconds since epoch --> tuple in local timezone