C++ time()

In this tutorial, we will learn about the C++ time() function with the help of examples.

The time() function in C++ returns the current calendar time as an object of type time_t. It is defined in the ctime header file.

Example

#include <iostream>
#include <ctime>
using namespace std;

int main() {

  // use time() with NULL argument
  cout << time(NULL);

  return 0;
}

// Output: 1629799688

time() Syntax

The syntax of the time() function is:

time(time_t* arg);

time() Parameters

The time() function takes the following parameters:

  • arg: pointer to a time_t object which (if not NULL) stores the time.

time() Return Value

The time() function returns:

  • On Success - the current calendar time as a value of type time_t.
  • On Failure - -1 which is casted to type time_t.

time() Prototype

The prototype of time() as defined in the ctime header file is:

time_t time(time_t* arg);

Example 1: C++ time()

#include <iostream>
#include <ctime>
using namespace std;

int main() {
  time_t current_time;

current_time = time(NULL);
cout << current_time; cout << " seconds has passed since 00:00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970"; return 0; }

Output

1629810340 seconds has passed since 00:00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970

Example 2: C++ time() with Reference Pointer

#include <iostream>
#include <ctime>
using namespace std;

int main() {
  time_t current_time;

// stores time in current_time time(&current_time);
cout << current_time; cout << " seconds has passed since 00:00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970"; return 0; }

Output

1629810340 seconds has passed since 00:00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970
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