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How to create a date picker and read values from it

Paul Hudson    @twostraws   

Updated for Xcode 13.0

Updated in iOS 15

SwiftUI’s DatePicker view is analogous to UIDatePicker, and comes with a variety options for controlling how it looks and works. Like all controls that store values, it does need to be bound to some sort of state in your app.

For example, this creates a date picker bound to a birthDate property, allowing users to choose any date up before now, then displays the value of the date picker as it’s set:

struct ContentView: View {
    @State private var birthDate = Date()

    var body: some View {
        VStack {
            DatePicker(selection: $birthDate, in: ...Date(), displayedComponents: .date) {
                Text("Select a date")
            }

            Text("Date is \(birthDate.formatted(date: .long, time: .omitted))")
        }
    }
}

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The text “Select a date” beside a grey capsule containing the text “Jun 30, 2021”. Below is the text “Date is June 30, 2021”.

Important: If you’re using Xcode 12 you should create and use your own local date formatter, like this:

struct ContentView: View {
    let dateFormatter: DateFormatter = {
        let formatter = DateFormatter()
        formatter.dateStyle = .long
        return formatter
    }()

    @State private var birthDate = Date()

    var body: some View {
        VStack {
            DatePicker(selection: $birthDate, in: ...Date(), displayedComponents: .date) {
                Text("Select a date")
            }

            Text("Date is \(birthDate, formatter: dateFormatter)")
        }
    }
}

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You can see I’ve set displayedComponents to .date, but you could also use .hourAndMinute to get time data instead.

Using in: ...Date() specifies the date range as being anything up to and including the current date, but nothing after. You could do the opposite – i.e., allow dates starting from now onwards – by using in: Date()..., but you can also use precise ranges if that’s what you want.

From iOS 14 onwards, you can use the new GraphicalDatePickerStyle() to get a more advanced date picker, that shows a calendar plus space to enter a precise time:

struct ContentView: View {
    @State private var date = Date()

    var body: some View {
        VStack {
            Text("Enter your birthday")
                .font(.largeTitle)
            DatePicker("Enter your birthday", selection: $date)
                .datePickerStyle(GraphicalDatePickerStyle())
                .frame(maxHeight: 400)
        }
    }
}

Download this as an Xcode project

The words “Enter your birthday” above a large calendar-style date picker. Below that is a time selector reading “1:59PM”.

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