Get the Number of Hours between 2 Dates in JavaScript

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Borislav Hadzhiev

Last updated: Jan 17, 2022

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Get the Number of Hours between 2 Dates in JavaScript #

To get the number of hours between 2 dates:

  1. Get the number of milliseconds between the unix epoch and the Dates.
  2. Subtract the milliseconds of the start date from the milliseconds of the end date.
  3. Divide the result by the number of milliseconds in an hour - 1000 * 60 * 60.
index.js
function getHoursDiff(startDate, endDate) { const msInHour = 1000 * 60 * 60; return Math.round(Math.abs(endDate - startDate) / msInHour); } // 👇️ (9 hours - 6 hours = 3 hours) console.log( getHoursDiff( new Date(2022, 1, 24, 6, 44, 0), new Date(2022, 1, 24, 9, 45, 30), ), ); // 👇️ (1 day - 0 hours = 24 hours) console.log( getHoursDiff( new Date(2022, 1, 23, 9, 40, 0), new Date(2022, 1, 24, 9, 45, 0), ), );

The parameters we passed to the Date() constructor in the examples are - year, month (0 = January, 1 = February, etc), day of the month, hour, minutes and seconds.

We created a reusable function that returns the number of hours between 2 dates.

The msInHour variable stores the number of milliseconds there are in an hour.

When you subtract a Date object from another Date object, they both get implicitly converted to a number that represents the milliseconds elapsed between January 1st, 1970 and the given date.

We could have called the getTime() method on both of the Date objects to achieve the same result.

index.js
function getHoursDiff(startDate, endDate) { const msInHour = 1000 * 60 * 60; return Math.round( Math.abs(endDate.getTime() - startDate.getTime()) / msInHour, ); } // 👇️ (9 hours - 6 hours = 3 hours) console.log( getHoursDiff( new Date(2022, 1, 24, 6, 44, 0), new Date(2022, 1, 24, 9, 45, 30), ), ); // 👇️ (1 day - 0 hours = 24 hours) console.log( getHoursDiff( new Date(2022, 1, 23, 9, 40, 0), new Date(2022, 1, 24, 9, 45, 0), ), ); console.log(new Date().getTime()); // 👉️ 164243142779

In the example, we called the getTime() method to explicitly convert the Date object to a timestamp when subtracting.

This might be the more clear and explicit approach for readers of your code.

The next step is to divide the result by the number of milliseconds in an hour to convert the value from milliseconds to hours.

We used the Math.abs function to handle a scenario where we subtract a greater timestamp from a smaller one.

The Math.abs function returns the absolute value of a number. In other words, if the number is positive, the number is returned and if the number is negative, the negation of the number is returned.

index.js
console.log(Math.abs(-3)); // 👉️ 3 console.log(Math.abs(3)); // 👉️ 3

We passed the value to the Math.round function to round to the nearest integer.

Here are some examples of how the Math.round function works.

index.js
console.log(Math.round(2.49)); // 👉️ 2 console.log(Math.round(2.5)); // 👉️ 3

The function rounds the number up or down to the nearest integer.

If the number is positive and its fractional part is greater than or equal to 0.5, it gets rounded to the next higher absolute value.

If the number is positive and its fractional portion is less than 0.5, it gets rounded to the lower absolute value.

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