ctime() function in C++

In this guide, you will learn what is ctime() function is in C++ programming and how to use it with an example.

1. ctime() Function Overview

The ctime() function in C++ is used to convert a given time_t value to its human-readable string representation. The function returns a string that represents the current local date and time in the format: "Www Mmm dd hh:mm:ss yyyy". It's a convenient way to quickly convert a time_t value to a formatted string without manually converting it to a tm structure first. The function is included in the <ctime> header.


const char* ctime(const time_t* timep);


- timep: Pointer to a time_t value representing the number of seconds elapsed since the epoch (00:00:00, January 1, 1970, Coordinated Universal Time).

2. Source Code Example

#include <iostream>
#include <ctime>

int main() {
    std::time_t t;

    // Convert time_t value to a human-readable string
    std::cout << "Current date and time: " << ctime(&t);

    return 0;


Current date and time: Www Mmm dd hh:mm:ss yyyy

Note: The actual output will depend on the current date and time.

3. Explanation

1. We first obtain the current time using the time() function and store it in a time_t variable.

2. The ctime() function is then used to convert this time_t value directly to its corresponding human-readable string representation.

3. The resulting string, which provides the current date and time, is printed to the console.