Javascript – How to get the number of days between two dates in JavaScript


How do I get the number of days between two dates in JavaScript? For example, given two dates in input boxes:

<input id="first" value="1/1/2000"/>
<input id="second" value="1/1/2001"/>

  alert(datediff("day", first, second)); // what goes here?

Best Solution

Here is a quick and dirty implementation of datediff, as a proof of concept to solve the problem as presented in the question. It relies on the fact that you can get the elapsed milliseconds between two dates by subtracting them, which coerces them into their primitive number value (milliseconds since the start of 1970).

// new Date("dateString") is browser-dependent and discouraged, so we'll write
// a simple parse function for U.S. date format (which does no error checking)
function parseDate(str) {
    var mdy = str.split('/');
    return new Date(mdy[2], mdy[0]-1, mdy[1]);

function datediff(first, second) {
    // Take the difference between the dates and divide by milliseconds per day.
    // Round to nearest whole number to deal with DST.
    return Math.round((second-first)/(1000*60*60*24));

alert(datediff(parseDate(first.value), parseDate(second.value)));
<input id="first" value="1/1/2000"/>
<input id="second" value="1/1/2001"/>

You should be aware that the "normal" Date APIs (without "UTC" in the name) operate in the local timezone of the user's browser, so in general you could run into issues if your user is in a timezone that you don't expect, and your code will have to deal with Daylight Saving Time transitions. You should carefully read the documentation for the Date object and its methods, and for anything more complicated, strongly consider using a library that offers more safe and powerful APIs for date manipulation.

Also, for illustration purposes, the snippet uses named access on the window object for brevity, but in production you should use standardized APIs like getElementById, or more likely, some UI framework.