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GSON – Date format

I’m trying to have a custom date format in Gson output, but .setDateFormat(DateFormat.FULL) doesn’t seem to work and it the same with .registerTypeAdapter(Date.class, new DateSerializer()).

It’s like Gson doesn’t care about the object “Date” and print it in its way.

How can I change that?



public class AdviceSheet {
  public Date lastModif;

public void method {
   Gson gson = new GsonBuilder().setDateFormat(DateFormat.LONG).create();

I always use java.util.Date; setDateFormat() doesn’t work 🙁


It seems that you need to define formats for both date and time part or use String-based formatting. For example:

Gson gson = new GsonBuilder()
   .setDateFormat("EEE, dd MMM yyyy HH:mm:ss zzz").create();

or using java.text.DateFormat

Gson gson = new GsonBuilder()
   .setDateFormat(DateFormat.FULL, DateFormat.FULL).create();

or do it with serializers:

I believe that formatters cannot produce timestamps, but this serializer/deserializer-pair seems to work

JsonSerializer<Date> ser = new JsonSerializer<Date>() {
  public JsonElement serialize(Date src, Type typeOfSrc, JsonSerializationContext 
             context) {
    return src == null ? null : new JsonPrimitive(src.getTime());

JsonDeserializer<Date> deser = new JsonDeserializer<Date>() {
  public Date deserialize(JsonElement json, Type typeOfT,
       JsonDeserializationContext context) throws JsonParseException {
    return json == null ? null : new Date(json.getAsLong());

Gson gson = new GsonBuilder()
   .registerTypeAdapter(Date.class, ser)
   .registerTypeAdapter(Date.class, deser).create();

If using Java 8 or above you should use the above serializers/deserializers like so:

JsonSerializer<Date> ser = (src, typeOfSrc, context) -> src == null ? null
            : new JsonPrimitive(src.getTime());

JsonDeserializer<Date> deser = (jSon, typeOfT, context) -> jSon == null ? null : new Date(jSon.getAsLong());