Conversion Functions , Date & Time Functions


Converts an input expression into a time. If input is NULL, returns NULL.

See also:



TO_TIME( <string_expr> [, <format> ] )
TO_TIME( <timestamp_expr> )
TO_TIME( '<integer>' )
TO_TIME( <variant_expr> )

TIME( <string_expr> )
TIME( <timestamp_expr> )
TIME( '<integer>' )
TIME( <variant_expr> )



string_expr or timestamp_expr or variant_expr or integer

Expression to be converted into a time:

  • For string_expr, the result of converting the string to a time.

  • For timestamp_expr, the time portion of the input value.

  • For a string containing an integer, the scaled value is treated as the number of seconds since midnight. If the scaled value is greater than or equal to 86400 (the number of seconds in a day), then the calculation is performed modulus 86400; for example, 86401 is one second after midnight.

    For information about scaling, see the Usage Notes.

    The use of quoted integers as inputs is deprecated.

  • For variant_expr:

    • If the variant contains a string in TIME format (‘HH:MI:SS’), a string conversion is performed.

    • If the variant contains a string in INTEGER format, a string conversion is performed and the value is treated as the number of seconds since midnight (modulus 86400 if necessary).

    • If the variant contains JSON null value, the output is NULL.

For all other values, a conversion error is generated.



Time format specifier for string_expr or AUTO, which specifies that Snowflake should automatically detect the format to use. For more information, see Date and Time Formats in Conversion Functions.

Default: current value of the TIME_INPUT_FORMAT session parameter (usually AUTO)


The data type of the returned value is TIME.

Usage Notes

  • If the format of the input parameter is a string that contains an integer, the value is scaled as follows:

  • After the string is converted to an integer, the integer is treated as a number of seconds, milliseconds, microseconds, or nanoseconds after the start of the Unix epoch (1970-01-01 00:00:00.000000000 UTC).

    • If the integer is less than 31536000000 (the number of milliseconds in a year), then the value is treated as a number of seconds.

    • If the value is greater than or equal to 31536000000 and less than 31536000000000, then the value is treated as milliseconds.

    • If the value is greater than or equal to 31536000000000 and less than 31536000000000000, then the value is treated as microseconds.

    • If the value is greater than or equal to 31536000000000000, then the value is treated as nanoseconds.


    Currently, negative values are always treated as seconds. For example, -31536000000000000000 is treated as a number of seconds before the year 1970, although its scale implies that it is intended to be used as nanoseconds.

    This behavior might change in the future.


    Deprecation Warning: Future versions of Snowflake might automatically interpret stringified integer values as seconds, rather than as milliseconds, microseconds, or nanoseconds. Snowflake recommends that you call TO_DATE, TO_TIME, or TO_TIMESTAMP with strings that contain integers only when those integers are intended to be interpreted as seconds.

  • If more than one row is evaluated (for example, if the input is the column name of a table that contains more than two rows), the first processed value determines whether all subsequent values are treated as seconds, milliseconds, microseconds, or nanoseconds.

    If the first value is greater than or equal to 31536000000, then all values will be treated as milliseconds, even if some remaining values are less than 31536000000. Similar logic applies for microseconds and nanoseconds.

  • Unlike the TO_TIME function, the TIME function does not support the optional format parameter.


These examples demonstrate the TO_TIME function.

SELECT TO_TIME('13:30:00'), TIME('13:30:00');
| TO_TIME('13:30:00') | TIME('13:30:00') |
| 13:30:00            | 13:30:00         |
SELECT TO_TIME('13:30:00.000'), TIME('13:30:00.000');
| TO_TIME('13:30:00.000') | TIME('13:30:00.000') |
| 13:30:00                | 13:30:00             |

This example shows how to use the TO_TIME function to process field separators other than the default colons (this example uses the period character as the separator between hours and minutes, and between minutes and seconds):

SELECT TO_TIME('11.15.00', 'HH24.MI.SS');
| TO_TIME('11.15.00', 'HH24.MI.SS') |
| 11:15:00                          |