How to compare two dates in Objective-C

14 Solutions Collect From Internet About “How to compare two dates in Objective-C”

Cocoa has couple of methods for this:

in NSDate

– isEqualToDate:  
– earlierDate:  
– laterDate:  
– compare:

When you use - (NSComparisonResult)compare:(NSDate *)anotherDate ,you get back one of these:

The receiver and anotherDate are exactly equal to each other, NSOrderedSame
The receiver is later in time than anotherDate, NSOrderedDescending
The receiver is earlier in time than anotherDate, NSOrderedAscending.


NSDate * now = [NSDate date];
NSDate * mile = [[NSDate alloc] initWithString:@"2001-03-24 10:45:32 +0600"];
NSComparisonResult result = [now compare:mile];

NSLog(@"%@", now);
NSLog(@"%@", mile);

switch (result)
    case NSOrderedAscending: NSLog(@"%@ is in future from %@", mile, now); break;
    case NSOrderedDescending: NSLog(@"%@ is in past from %@", mile, now); break;
    case NSOrderedSame: NSLog(@"%@ is the same as %@", mile, now); break;
    default: NSLog(@"erorr dates %@, %@", mile, now); break;

[mile release];

Here buddy. This function will match your date with any specified date and will tell weather they match or not. You can also modify the components to match your requirements.

- (BOOL)isSameDay:(NSDate*)date1 otherDay:(NSDate*)date2 {
NSCalendar* calendar = [NSCalendar currentCalendar];

unsigned unitFlags = NSYearCalendarUnit | NSMonthCalendarUnit |  NSDayCalendarUnit;
NSDateComponents* comp1 = [calendar components:unitFlags fromDate:date1];
NSDateComponents* comp2 = [calendar components:unitFlags fromDate:date2];

return [comp1 day]   == [comp2 day] &&
[comp1 month] == [comp2 month] &&
[comp1 year]  == [comp2 year];}

Naveed Butt

NSDate *today = [NSDate date]; // it will give you current date
NSDate *newDate = [NSDate dateWithString:@"xxxxxx"]; // your date 

NSComparisonResult result; 
//has three possible values: NSOrderedSame,NSOrderedDescending, NSOrderedAscending

result = [today compare:newDate]; // comparing two dates

    NSLog(@"today is less");
else if(result==NSOrderedDescending)
    NSLog(@"newDate is less");
    NSLog(@"Both dates are same");

There are other ways that you may use to compare an NSDate objects. Each of the
methods will be more efficient at certain tasks. I have chosen the compare method
because it will handle most of your basic date comparison needs.

This category offers a neat way to compare NSDates:

#import <Foundation/Foundation.h>

@interface NSDate (Compare)

-(BOOL) isLaterThanOrEqualTo:(NSDate*)date;
-(BOOL) isEarlierThanOrEqualTo:(NSDate*)date;
-(BOOL) isLaterThan:(NSDate*)date;
-(BOOL) isEarlierThan:(NSDate*)date;
//- (BOOL)isEqualToDate:(NSDate *)date; already part of the NSDate API


And the implementation:

#import "NSDate+Compare.h"

@implementation NSDate (Compare)

-(BOOL) isLaterThanOrEqualTo:(NSDate*)date {
    return !([self compare:date] == NSOrderedAscending);

-(BOOL) isEarlierThanOrEqualTo:(NSDate*)date {
    return !([self compare:date] == NSOrderedDescending);
-(BOOL) isLaterThan:(NSDate*)date {
    return ([self compare:date] == NSOrderedDescending);

-(BOOL) isEarlierThan:(NSDate*)date {
    return ([self compare:date] == NSOrderedAscending);


Simple to use:

if([aDateYouWantToCompare isEarlierThanOrEqualTo:[NSDate date]]) // [NSDate date] is now
    // do your thing ...

By this method also you can compare two dates

NSDate * dateOne = [NSDate date];
NSDate * dateTwo = [NSDate date];

if([dateOne compare:dateTwo] == NSOrderedAscending)


If you make both dates NSDates you can use NSDate‘s compare: method:

NSComparisonResult result = [Date2 compare:Date1];

    NSLog(@"Date1 is in the future");
else if(result==NSOrderedDescending)
    NSLog(@"Date1 is in the past")
    NSLog(@"Both dates are the same");

You can take a look at the docs here.

The best way I found was to check the difference between the given date and today:

NSCalendar* calendar = [NSCalendar currentCalendar];
NSDate* now = [NSDate date];
int differenceInDays =
[calendar ordinalityOfUnit:NSCalendarUnitDay inUnit:NSCalendarUnitEra forDate:date] -
[calendar ordinalityOfUnit:NSCalendarUnitDay inUnit:NSCalendarUnitEra forDate:now];

According to Listing 13 of Calendrical Calculations in Apple’s Date and Time Programming Guide [NSCalendar ordinalityOfUnit:NSDayCalendarUnit inUnit: NSEraCalendarUnit forDate:myDate] gives you the number of midnights since the start of the era.
This way it’s easy to check whether the date is yesterday, today, or tomorrow.

switch (differenceInDays) {
    case -1:
        dayString = @"Yesterday";
    case 0:
        dayString = @"Today";
    case 1:
        dayString = @"Tomorrow";
    default: {
        NSDateFormatter* dayFormatter = [[NSDateFormatter alloc] init];
        [dayFormatter setLocale:usLocale];
        [dayFormatter setDateFormat:@"dd MMM"];
        dayString = [dayFormatter stringFromDate: date];
NSDateFormatter *df= [[NSDateFormatter alloc] init];

[df setDateFormat:@"yyyy-MM-dd"];

NSDate *dt1 = [[NSDate alloc] init];

NSDate *dt2 = [[NSDate alloc] init];

dt1=[df dateFromString:@"2011-02-25"];

dt2=[df dateFromString:@"2011-03-25"];

NSComparisonResult result = [dt1 compare:dt2];

switch (result)

        case NSOrderedAscending: NSLog(@"%@ is greater than %@", dt2, dt1); break;

        case NSOrderedDescending: NSLog(@"%@ is less %@", dt2, dt1); break;

        case NSOrderedSame: NSLog(@"%@ is equal to %@", dt2, dt1); break;

        default: NSLog(@"erorr dates %@, %@", dt2, dt1); break;


Enjoy coding……

What you really need is to compare two objects of the same kind.

  1. Create an NSDate out of your string date (@”2009-05-11″) :

  2. If the current date is a string too, make it an NSDate. If its already an NSDate, leave it.

Here’s the Swift variant on Pascal’s answer:

extension NSDate {

    func isLaterThanOrEqualTo(date:NSDate) -> Bool {
        return !( == NSComparisonResult.OrderedAscending)

    func isEarlierThanOrEqualTo(date:NSDate) -> Bool {
        return !( == NSComparisonResult.OrderedDescending)

    func isLaterThan(date:NSDate) -> Bool {
        return ( == NSComparisonResult.OrderedDescending)

    func isEarlierThan(date:NSDate) -> Bool {
        return ( == NSComparisonResult.OrderedAscending)

Which can be used as:


Here’s the function from Naveed Rafi’s answer converted to Swift if anyone else is looking for it:

func isSameDate(#date1: NSDate, date2: NSDate) -> Bool {
    let calendar = NSCalendar()
    let date1comp = calendar.components(.YearCalendarUnit | .MonthCalendarUnit | .DayCalendarUnit, fromDate: date1)
    let date2comp = calendar.components(.YearCalendarUnit | .MonthCalendarUnit | .DayCalendarUnit, fromDate: date2)
    return (date1comp.year == date2comp.year) && (date1comp.month == date2comp.month) && ( ==
Get Today's Date:

NSDate* date = [NSDate date];

Create a Date From Scratch:    
NSDateComponents* comps = [[NSDateComponents alloc]init];
comps.year = 2015;
comps.month = 12; = 31;
NSCalendar* calendar = [NSCalendar currentCalendar];
NSDate* date = [calendar dateFromComponents:comps];

Add a day to a Date:  
NSDate* date = [NSDate date];
NSDateComponents* comps = [[NSDateComponents alloc]init]; = 1;
NSCalendar* calendar = [NSCalendar currentCalendar];
NSDate* tomorrow = [calendar dateByAddingComponents:comps toDate:date options:nil];

Subtract a day from a Date:    
NSDate* date = [NSDate date];
NSDateComponents* comps = [[NSDateComponents alloc]init]; = -1;
NSCalendar* calendar = [NSCalendar currentCalendar];
NSDate* yesterday = [calendar dateByAddingComponents:comps toDate:date options:nil];

Convert a Date to a String:  

NSDate* date = [NSDate date];
NSDateFormatter* formatter = [[NSDateFormatter alloc]init];
formatter.dateFormat = @"MMMM dd, yyyy";
NSString* dateString = [formatter stringFromDate:date];

Convert a String to a Date:

NSDateFormatter* formatter = [[NSDateFormatter alloc]init];
formatter.dateFormat = @"MMMM dd, yyyy";
NSDate* date = [formatter dateFromString:@"August 02, 2014"];

Find how many days are in a month:    
NSDate* date = [NSDate date];
NSCalendar* cal = [NSCalendar currentCalendar];
NSRange currentRange = [cal rangeOfUnit:NSDayCalendarUnit inUnit:NSMonthCalendarUnit forDate:date];
NSInteger numberOfDays = currentRange.length;

Calculate how much time something took:   

NSDate* start = [NSDate date];
for(int i = 0; i < 1000000000; i++);
NSDate* end = [NSDate date];
NSTimeInterval duration = [end timeIntervalSinceDate:start];

Find the Day Of Week for a specific Date:

NSDate* date = [NSDate date];
NSCalendar* cal = [NSCalendar currentCalendar];
NSInteger dow = [cal ordinalityOfUnit:NSWeekdayCalendarUnit inUnit:NSWeekCalendarUnit forDate:date];

Then use NSComparisonResult to compare date.


NSString *date = @"2009-05-11"
NSString *nowDate = [[[NSDate date]description]substringToIndex: 10];
if([date isEqualToString: nowDate])
// your code