Can you rearrange the text in date field type in ArcGIS?

Eg. Map_Date - 05/30/2014 (I want to reformat this to 2014-05-30)

I've been trying to use the field calculator on all my records, but cannot figure out the syntax for either Python or VB.

  • Do you want to change the actual data in your featureclass, or just how dates are displayed in ArcGIS? For the latter, see here: gis.stackexchange.com/questions/163276/…
    – Berend
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 12:27
  • change how they are displayed Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 12:29
  • My bad, that solution works only for numeric fields, not dates.
    – Berend
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 12:30
  • can I change the date field to a string or number in that same format? Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 12:31
  • 1
    The date format used by ArcMap is conform your system settings, search the ArcGIS Desktop help for Changing the way ArcMap displays short format dates in Windows 7.
    – Berend
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 12:34

1 Answer 1


This is copied verbatim from the ArcGIS Desktop help. The instructions are for Windows 7, so it's probably different for newer versions. You get the idea, though.

Changing the way ArcMap displays short format dates in Windows 7

You can change the way ArcMap displays date formats by setting date format options within the Regional and Language settings of your computer.


  1. Click the Start button in Windows 7.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Click Region and Language.
  4. Click the Formats tab.
  5. Click the Short date format drop-down arrow and click the desired date format.
  6. Click OK.

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