Converting a date in MySQL from string field

I’m using a system where the dates are stored as strings in the format dd/mm/yyyy. Is it possible to convert this to yyyy-mm-dd in a SELECT query (so that I can use DATE_FORMAT on it)? Does MySQL have a date parsing function?

Currently the only method I can think of is to concatenate a bunch of substrings, but hopefully there’s a simpler solution.

(Unfortunately I can’t convert the field to a true date field since it’s a meta-table: the same column contains values for different fields that are just strings.)


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Method 1


STR_TO_DATE(t.datestring, '%d/%m/%Y')

…will convert the string into a datetime datatype. To be sure that it comes out in the format you desire, use DATE_FORMAT:

DATE_FORMAT(STR_TO_DATE(t.datestring, '%d/%m/%Y'), '%Y-%m-%d')

If you can’t change the datatype on the original column, I suggest creating a view that uses the STR_TO_DATE call to convert the string to a DateTime data type.

Method 2

Yes, there’s str_to_date

mysql> select str_to_date("03/02/2009","%d/%m/%Y");
| str_to_date("03/02/2009","%d/%m/%Y") |
| 2009-02-03                           |
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

Method 3

STR_TO_DATE allows you to do this, and it has a format argument.

Method 4

SELECT STR_TO_DATE(dateString, '%d/%m/%y') FROM yourTable...

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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