Is There a Time Data Type for MySQL?


Heather Bennett

Is There a Time Data Type for MySQL?

When working with databases, it is important to have the right data types to accurately store and manipulate data. One common question that arises when using MySQL is whether there is a specific data type for storing time values. In this article, we will explore the different options available in MySQL for handling time-related data.

The TIME Data Type

In MySQL, there is indeed a specific data type called TIME that is used to store time values. It allows you to store time values in the format of ‘HH:MM:SS’, where HH represents hours in 24-hour format, MM represents minutes, and SS represents seconds.

To define a column with the TIME data type, you can use the following syntax:

CREATE TABLE example (
    id INT,
    duration TIME

In the above example, we have created a table called ‘example’ with two columns: ‘id’ of type INT and ‘duration’ of type TIME.

Working with TIME Data Type

Once you have a column defined with the TIME data type, you can insert and retrieve time values using various SQL statements.

Inserting Time Values

To insert a time value into a column of type TIME, you can use the INSERT INTO statement along with the TIME() function. The TIME() function takes an argument in the format ‘HH:MM:SS’ and returns a value of type TIME.

INSERT INTO example (id, duration)
VALUES (1, TIME('10:30:00'));

The above query inserts a row into the ‘example’ table with an ‘id’ of 1 and a ‘duration’ of 10 hours, 30 minutes, and 0 seconds.

Retrieving Time Values

To retrieve time values stored in a column of type TIME, you can use the SELECT statement along with the TIME_FORMAT() function. The TIME_FORMAT() function allows you to format the time value as per your requirements.

SELECT id, TIME_FORMAT(duration, '%H:%i') AS formatted_duration
FROM example;

The above query retrieves the ‘id’ column and formats the ‘duration’ column as hours and minutes only.


In conclusion, MySQL provides a dedicated data type called TIME for storing time values. This data type allows you to accurately store and manipulate time-related data in your database. By using the TIME data type along with appropriate SQL statements, you can effectively work with time values in MySQL.

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