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(PHP 5 >= 5.1.0)

date_default_timezone_get Gets the default timezone used by all date/time functions in a script


string date_default_timezone_get ( void )

In order of preference, this function returns the default timezone by:

  • Reading the timezone set using the date_default_timezone_set() function (if any)

  • Prior to PHP 5.4.0 only: Reading the TZ environment variable (if non empty)

  • Reading the value of the date.timezone ini option (if set)

  • Prior to PHP 5.4.0 only: Querying the host operating system (if supported and allowed by the OS). This uses an algorithm that has to guess the timezone. This is by no means going to work correctly for every situation. A warning is shown when this stage is reached. Do not rely on it to be guessed correctly, and set date.timezone to the correct timezone instead.

If none of the above succeed, date_default_timezone_get() will return a default timezone of UTC.

Return Values

Returns a string.


Version Description
5.4.0 The TZ environment variable is no longer used to guess the timezone.
5.4.0 The timezone is no longer guessed from information available through the operating system as the guessed timezone can not be relied on.


Example #1 Getting the default timezone


if (
date_default_timezone_get()) {
'date_default_timezone_set: ' date_default_timezone_get() . '<br />';

if (
ini_get('date.timezone')) {
'date.timezone: ' ini_get('date.timezone');


The above example will output something similar to:

date_default_timezone_set: Europe/London
date.timezone: Europe/London

Example #2 Getting the abbreviation of a timezone

date_default_timezone_get() . ' => ' date('e') . ' => ' date('T');

The above example will output:

America/Los_Angeles => America/Los_Angeles => PST

See Also

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