I have a column as a string 10/12/2020 13:14:39 I want to convert it to Date format (I'll do that using the refactor tool later). First I need to rearrange this so the time is discarded and the dd/MM/yyyy is arranged as yyyy/MM/dd.

I'm using field calculator, how do I do this?

I've tried to_date("CreatedAt", 'dd/MM/yyyy') and format_date("CreatedAt", 'dd/MM/yyyy') neither give the correct result.

  • This recent question will help you with removing the time: gis.stackexchange.com/questions/382321/…
    – JClarkson
    Dec 17, 2020 at 16:13
  • my previous question, as you might expect I did try that, bit it returns '0001/01/01' so while removing the time clearly not the way to do it. Dec 17, 2020 at 16:16
  • QGIS passes the string parsing off to QT with doc.qt.io/qt-5/qdate.html#fromString-1 (You can get to the help from Edit/Select/Select Features by Expression/Date and Time/to_date and then description should point to the QDate::fromString help text.
    – Dave X
    Dec 17, 2020 at 18:55

2 Answers 2


Since you are starting with a datetime string, you can parse it fully and format the result as a plain date string in one step:

format_date(to_datetime('10/12/2020 13:14:39',
   'dd/MM/yyyy HH:mm:ss'),


format_date(to_datetime("CreatedAt",'dd/MM/yyyy HH:mm:ss'),'yyyy/MM/dd')

(Note the "Preview: '2020/12/10'" in the Edit/Select/Select by Expression window below: enter image description here

The documentation for the QGIS to_data and to_datetime expression's format attribute and its parsing is in QT as https://doc.qt.io/qt-5/qdate.html#fromString-1 and https://doc.qt.io/qt-5/qtime.html#toString . You can find your way to those through the QGIS expression function description text.


Surely there's a better way, after a random guess I got this.

To_date("CreatedAt", format('dd/MM/yyyy'))

I'll leave this here for a while to give people the chance for a more eloquent way to do this.

  • Side question, anyway to pipe these together? Dec 17, 2020 at 17:52
  • You can nest them. I tried Format_date(To_date(Substr('10/12/2020 13:14:39',0,-9), format('dd/MM/yyyy')) ,'yyyy/MM/dd'). in Edit/Select/Select by Expression and the preview on the bottom showed '2020/12/10'
    – Dave X
    Dec 17, 2020 at 19:00

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