Check If a Date/Time Has Been Set with IsZero

· 175 words · 1 minute read

In Go, we can store and use dates using the time package and although a date in Go cannot be saved as null (because there's no such thing) there is an unset state. This unset state can be shown as 0001-01-01 00:00:00 +0000 UTC and there's a simple way we can check if a date variable has been populated, as demonstrated below. It's also important to note that these are not unix timestamps, which go back as far as 1970, but can handle a large spectrum of dates.

package main

import (

func main() {

    var myDate time.Time

    // IsZero returns a bool of whether a date has been set, but as the printf shows it will
    // still print a zero-based date if it hasn't been set.
    if myDate.IsZero() {
        fmt.Printf("No date has been set, %s\n", myDate)

    // Demonstrating that by setting a date, IsZero now returns false
    myDate = time.Date(2019, time.February, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, time.UTC)
    if !myDate.IsZero() {
        fmt.Printf("A date has been set, %s\n", myDate)

check is date set or not

Image of Author Edd Turtle

Author:  Edd Turtle

Edd is the Lead Developer at Hoowla, a prop-tech startup, where he spends much of his time working on production-ready Go and PHP code. He loves coding, but also enjoys cycling and camping in his spare time.

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