2 Ways to Set Default Time Zone in Node.js

Last updated on February 4, 2022 Pennywise Loading... 4 comments

This short article walks you through 2 different ways to set the default time zone in Node.js. The first approach is to modify the TZ environment variable and the second one is to make use of a third-party package named set-tz (this library is really small and works well with TypeScript). No more meaningless talking, let’s get to the point.

Note: You can see the full list of tz database time zones on Wikipedia

Using the TZ environment variable

You can set the TZ variable at runtime like this:

process.env.TZ = 'Etc/Universal'; // UTC +00:00
console.log(new Date().toString())


Fri Feb 04 2022 06:10:01 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

You should set the timezone on the first lines of your entry file and shouldn’t change it anywhere else later to avoid an unexpected outcome.

You can also set the TZ variable through your package.json file:

"scripts": {
    "start": "node TZ=Etc/Universal ./build/index.js",
    "dev": "TZ=Etc/Universal nodemon ./src/index.ts",

Or add it when bootstrapping your app:

node TZ=Etc/Universal ./build/index.js

Using a 3rd package

There are some good packages that can help you with the timezone stuff in Node.js. If you are writing code with only JavaScript, you can use timezone.js or node-time. If you prefer TypeScript, you can use set-tz.

Install set-tz:

npm i set-tz @types/set-tz

Then implement it like this:

import setTZ from 'set-tz';

console.log(new Date().toString())

And it should succeed with the following result:

Fri Feb 04 2022 01:22:59 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time)


You’ve learned more than one technique to change the default timezone for a Node.js application. If you’d like to explore more new and interesting things in the modern Node.js world, take a look at the following articles:

You can also check out our Node.js category page for the latest tutorials and examples.

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1 month ago

I did the first method and I couldn’t, it always returns the time zone of my country, even if I set London

A Goodman
A Goodman
1 month ago
Reply to  Eduardo

I’ll recheck the example

A Goodman
A Goodman
1 month ago
Reply to  A Goodman

Hey Edurdo, make sure you correctly type the time zone. You can copy from here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tz_database_time_zones

2 months ago


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