How to Set the Time Zone in Django


Django is a popular web framework used by developers to build high-performance web applications quickly and easily. However, if you are developing a web application that needs to handle time-sensitive data, you should try to make sure you are using the correct time zone. That ensures that date and time information is accurately recorded and displayed to users, no matter where they are located.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at how to set the correct time zone in Django and the best practices for managing time zones in your Django project.

Understanding Time Zones in Django

Let's just first recap the basics about time zones in general, so we can dive deeper into setting the timezone in your Django application. When building a Django application that needs to handle time-sensitive data, it's essential to have a good understanding of how time zones actually work.

A time zone is essentially a region of the world where all clocks are set to the same time. Each time zone is identified by a unique name that represents the location of the region. In Django, time zones are managed using the pytz library, which provides a comprehensive database of time zone information.

Note: It's important to remember that all datetime objects are stored in UTC (Universal Time Coordinated). This means that you should store datetime objects in UTC and convert them to the user's local time zone for display.

Failure to manage time zones correctly can result in a range of issues - inaccurate date and time information, incorrect scheduling of events, and unexpected behavior when working with time-based data. So, make sure you are carefully setting the correct time zone to prevent unnecessary errors.

Setting the TimeZone in Django

Now that we have an understanding of what time zones are, let's look at how to set it in your Django project:

  1. Open the file of your Django project
  2. Find the TIME_ZONE setting and uncomment it (remove the # at the beginning of the line)
  3. Set the value of TIME_ZONE to the time zone you want to use. For example, if you want to use Eastern Standard Time, you would set TIME_ZONE to 'America/New_York'
  4. Save the file

Here's an example of how your TIME_ZONE setting should look in

TIME_ZONE = 'America/New_York'

The default time zone is set to “America/Chicago”.

Note: When setting the time zone, it's essential to choose the correct value for your location. You can find a full list of time zones on <a rel=”nofollow noopener” target=”_blank” href=””>Wikipedia - you’ll use the values in the “TZ identifier” column. If you're not sure which time zone to use, a quick online search should help you determine the correct value for your location using your IP address.

It's also important to note that you can set the time zone to a user's local time zone if you have that information available. To do this, you'll need to store the user's time zone in the database and use that value to set the TIME_ZONE setting dynamically.

Tips for Managing Time Zones in Django

While setting the time zone is an essential first step in managing time zones in Django, there are several best practices that you should follow to ensure accurate and efficient handling of time-sensitive data:

  • Store datetimes in UTC: As mentioned earlier, Django stores all datetime objects in UTC. By storing datetimes in UTC, you can ensure that all time-sensitive data is consistent across different time zones.

  • Convert datetimes to local time for display: When displaying datetime information to users, it's best to convert UTC datetimes to the user's local time zone. Django provides several utilities, such as the pytz library and the time zone template filter, to help with time zone conversions.

  • Handle daylight saving time (DST) transitions: DST transitions can be challenging to handle correctly, as the transition time can result in ambiguous and nonexistent datetimes. To handle DST transitions correctly, it's best to use the pytz library, which provides robust support for DST transitions.

  • Use timezone aware datetime objects: To ensure accurate handling of datetime information, you should use timezone aware datetime objects throughout your Django project.

  • Use third-party packages to simplify timezone management: While Django provides excellent support for time zone management, several third-party packages, such as django-timezone-field and django-tz-choices, can simplify timezone management even further.


Time zone management is a crucial aspect of building web applications that handle time-sensitive data accurately and efficiently. In Django, managing time zones is made easy with the pytz library and the TIME_ZONE setting in the file.

By understanding time zones in Django, setting the correct time zone, and following best practices, you can ensure that your Django project accurately handles datetime information, even across different time zones.

Overall, investing time and effort in proper time zone management is essential for building reliable and efficient web applications. After reading this article, you will be able to ensure that your Django project handles time-sensitive data accurately and efficiently, providing a better experience for your users.

Last Updated: June 26th, 2023
Was this article helpful?

Improve your dev skills!

Get tutorials, guides, and dev jobs in your inbox.

No spam ever. Unsubscribe at any time. Read our Privacy Policy.


Building Your First Convolutional Neural Network With Keras

# python# artificial intelligence# machine learning# tensorflow

Most resources start with pristine datasets, start at importing and finish at validation. There's much more to know. Why was a class predicted? Where was...

David Landup
David Landup

Data Visualization in Python with Matplotlib and Pandas

# python# pandas# matplotlib

Data Visualization in Python with Matplotlib and Pandas is a course designed to take absolute beginners to Pandas and Matplotlib, with basic Python knowledge, and...

David Landup
David Landup

© 2013-2024 Stack Abuse. All rights reserved.