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Python | Pandas.to_datetime()

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  • Last Updated : 17 Sep, 2018
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When a csv file is imported and a Data Frame is made, the Date time objects in the file are read as a string object rather a Date Time object and Hence it’s very tough to perform operations like Time difference on a string rather a Date Time object. Pandas to_datetime() method helps to convert string Date time into Python Date time object.

Syntax:

pandas.to_datetime(arg, errors=’raise’, dayfirst=False, yearfirst=False, utc=None, box=True, format=None, exact=True, unit=None, infer_datetime_format=False, origin=’unix’, cache=False)

 
Parameters:

arg: An integer, string, float, list or dict object to convert in to Date time object.
dayfirst: Boolean value, places day first if True.
yearfirst: Boolean value, places year first if True.
utc: Boolean value, Returns time in UTC if True.
format: String input to tell position of day, month and year.

Return type: Date time object series.

For link of the CSV file used, click here.

Example #1: String to Date
In the following example, a csv file is read and the date column of Data frame is converted into Date Time object from a string object.




# importing pandas package
import pandas as pd
  
# making data frame from csv file
data = pd.read_csv("todatetime.csv")
  
# overwriting data after changing format
data["Date"]= pd.to_datetime(data["Date"])
  
# info of data
data.info()
  
# display
data


Output:
As shown in the image, the Data Type of Date column was object but after using to_datetime(), it got converted into a date time object.

Before operation-



After Operation-


 
Example #2: Exception while converting Time
Time object can also be converted with this method. But since in the Time column, a date isn’t specified and hence Pandas will put Today’s date automatically in that case.




# importing pandas package
import pandas as pd
  
# making data frame from csv file
data = pd.read_csv("todatetime.csv")
  
# overwriting data after changing format
data["Time"]= pd.to_datetime(data["Time"])
  
# info of data
data.info()
  
# display
data


Output:
As shown in the output, a date (2018-07-07) that is Today’s date is already added with the Date time object.


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