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Get Current Time in Python Effortlessly


How to Get and Use the Current Time in Python

Getting the current time in Python is a crucial step in many time-related operations. One common use case is creating timestamps. In this tutorial, you will learn how to get, display, and format the current time in Python using the datetime module.

To effectively utilize the current time in your Python applications, you need to familiarize yourself with different tools. You will learn how to read attributes of the current time, such as the year, minutes, or seconds. Additionally, you will explore options for printing and formatting the time. Furthermore, you will delve into different time formats and how computers represent time, as well as dealing with time zones.

How to Tell the Time in Python

The simplest way to obtain and print the current time is by using the .now() class method from the datetime module.


from datetime import datetime
now =

The class method .now() returns a datetime object, which represents the current date and time. By explicitly printing the now variable, you can obtain a timestamp in the familiar YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS.mmm format.

Here’s an example output:

2022-11-22 14:31:59.331225

However, note that the datetime object obtained this way is not time zone aware. While your operating system can resolve the time zone correctly, the datetime object itself does not have time zone information.

It is worth mentioning that the printed datetime object follows the ISO 8601 standard for time and date formatting, which is an international standard. However, Python deviates slightly from the standard by using a space instead of the T character to separate the date and time parts of the timestamp.

Python allows you to customize the format in which the timestamp is printed. The datetime class internally uses the .isoformat() method to print the timestamp. You can call this method directly from any datetime object to customize the ISO timestamp format:


The above code will produce a timestamp in the format 'YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SS.mmmmmm'.

By utilizing these methods, you can easily obtain and print the current time in Python.