Apps Development, Cloud Computing

3 Mins Read

Handling Timezones with the Intl Class in JavaScript


Navigating the complexities of timezones in a JavaScript application is a crucial skill for developers aiming to provide a seamless and user-friendly experience for a global audience. In this comprehensive blog, we will delve into utilizing the Intl class for handling timezones and addressing common challenges.


Timezones can be a source of confusion and frustration in software development, especially when dealing with international applications. JavaScript provides the Intl (Internationalization) object, which includes features for handling timezones and formatting dates and times according to different locales.

In this blog post, we’ll explore how to use the Intl class in JavaScript to work with time zones and discuss some frequent timezone issues developers may encounter.

Pioneers in Cloud Consulting & Migration Services

  • Reduced infrastructural costs
  • Accelerated application deployment
Get Started

Understanding the Intl Class in JS

The Intl object in JavaScript is designed to provide internationalization support, including formatting and parsing of numbers, dates, and times. When it comes to timezones, the Intl.DateTimeFormat constructor allows developers to create objects that can format dates according to a specified locale and timezone.

Basic Usage

Below is an example for Intl.DateTimeFormat method

Frequent Timezone Issues and How to Handle Them

Daylight Saving Time (DST)

One common issue is dealing with Daylight Saving Time changes. Some timezones observe DST, which means the offset from UTC may change during certain periods of the year. The Intl class handles DST automatically, adjusting the displayed time accordingly.

Invalid Timezone

It’s crucial to handle cases where an invalid timezone is provided. To address this, check if the provided timezone is valid before creating the Intl.DateTimeFormat object:

User’s Local Timezone

To display dates and times in the user’s local timezone, you can omit the timeZone option or set it to ‘undefined’:

Timezone Abbreviations

Avoid relying on timezone abbreviations, as they can be ambiguous and may not account for DST. Instead, use the Olson timezone identifiers (e.g., ‘America/New_York’).

Dealing with User Timezone Preferences

Understanding and accommodating user timezone preferences is crucial for creating a personalized and user-friendly experience. In many applications, users may want to see dates and times in their local or specific timezone of their choice. Here’s how you can handle user timezone preferences:

User Timezone Selection

Allow users to specify their preferred timezone within your application. This could be a setting in their user profile or a one-time selection when they first use the application. Store the user’s preference and use it when formatting dates and times.

Automatically Detecting User’s Timezone

You can also automatically detect the user’s timezone using the Intl.DateTimeFormat object without specifying the timeZone option. This way, the application adapts to the user’s browser settings.

This method relies on the browser’s locale and timezone settings, providing a seamless experience for users without requiring manual configuration.

Displaying Relative Time

Consider displaying relative time, such as “2 hours ago” or “yesterday,” especially for recent events. The Intl.RelativeTimeFormat constructor can help create such representations:

Alternatives for Handling Timezone Issues in JavaScript

While the Intl class in JavaScript provides a robust solution for dealing with timezones, there are alternative libraries and approaches that developers can consider based on specific project requirements and preferences. Let’s explore a couple of alternatives:

Moment-Timezone Library

Moment-Timezone is an extension of the popular Moment.js library that addresses timezone-related challenges. It provides a comprehensive set of functions for working with dates, times, and timezones.

Luxon Library

Luxon is a powerful and modern JavaScript library for handling dates and times. It is designed to be lightweight, immutable, and has built-in support for time zones.


Choosing the right approach for handling time zones depends on the specific needs of your project. While the Intl class is a built-in and widely supported solution, libraries like Moment-Timezone and Luxon offer additional features. They might be more suitable for larger or more complex applications. Evaluating these alternatives allows developers to select the best tool for the task, balancing simplicity, performance, and functionality.

Drop a query if you have any questions regarding Intl class and we will get back to you quickly.

Empowering organizations to become ‘data driven’ enterprises with our Cloud experts.

  • Reduced infrastructure costs
  • Timely data-driven decisions
Get Started

About CloudThat

CloudThat is a leading provider of Cloud Training and Consulting services with a global presence in India, the USA, Asia, Europe, and Africa. Specializing in AWS, Microsoft Azure, GCP, VMware, Databricks, and more, the company serves mid-market and enterprise clients, offering comprehensive expertise in Cloud Migration, Data Platforms, DevOps, IoT, AI/ML, and more.

CloudThat is recognized as a top-tier partner with AWS and Microsoft, including the prestigious ‘Think Big’ partner award from AWS and the Microsoft Superstars FY 2023 award in Asia & India. Having trained 650k+ professionals in 500+ cloud certifications and completed 300+ consulting projects globally, CloudThat is an official AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, AWS Training Partner, AWS Migration Partner, AWS Data and Analytics Partner, AWS DevOps Competency Partner, Amazon QuickSight Service Delivery Partner, Amazon EKS Service Delivery Partner, Microsoft Gold Partner, AWS Microsoft Workload Partners, Amazon EC2 Service Delivery Partner, and many more.

To get started, go through our Consultancy page and Managed Services PackageCloudThat’s offerings.


1. Why should a developer handle time zone issues in JavaScript applications?

ANS: – Timezones are crucial when dealing with dates and times in applications with a global user base. Handling timezones ensures that your users see accurate and contextually relevant timestamps, preventing confusion and providing a better user experience.

2. What's the difference between using the Intl class and external libraries like Moment-Timezone or Luxon?

ANS: – The Intl class is a native JavaScript solution that provides basic timezone support. External libraries like Moment-Timezone and Luxon offer more advanced features, better developer experience, and enhanced timezone handling. The choice depends on the complexity of your application and your specific requirements.

WRITTEN BY Jaya Srikar Kotha



    Click to Comment

Get The Most Out Of Us

Our support doesn't end here. We have monthly newsletters, study guides, practice questions, and more to assist you in upgrading your cloud career. Subscribe to get them all!