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Change the time zone on a Heroku app

paulasantamaria profile image Paula Santamaría Updated on ・2 min read

I discovered Heroku a few weeks ago. It's a great platform to deploy your apps, specially because of their Free plan which I've been using as dev env to work with my team remotely.

Lately I started working on a new project. On this particular project I rely on dates for most of the main operations. The app has a front-end built with Angular 5, and a back-end built with Node.js

Everything was working perfectly on my local environment, but when I deployed to Heroku all the date operations started to behave kind of random (spoilers: it wasn't random at all).

Well, here's the thing. I'm from Argentina, and I had the front-end deployed on a local server, but the back-end was on Heroku and the default region for new heroku apps is "us". So basically my front-end and back-end were on different time zones.

This is not the first time I deal with this kind of date issues (there aren't many local cloud services in my region) so I found the source of the problem almost immediately, and I wanted to share it with you in case you encounter a similar issue.

Luckily Heroku let's us change the timezone of our app simply by adding a new config var.

From the Heroku CLI

  1. Open the command shell
  2. Login to heroku
  3. Navigate to your app's directory
  4. Setup your TZ
heroku config:add TZ="America/Argentina/Buenos_Aires"
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From the Heroku dashboard (web)

  1. Login into the Heroku dashboard from a browser
  2. Navigate to the app
  3. Click over the Settings tab
  4. Press the "Reveal Config Vars" button
  5. Set the key to "TZ" and the value to your timezone (E.g.: America/Argentina/Buenos_Aires)
  6. Press the Add button

How do I know which is the correct TZ value

Follow this link to see the complete list of time zones

Check the new TZ value

Use the following command to check the value of the new config var from Heroku CLI:

heroku config:get TZ
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For more info about Heroku

What is Heroku?

For more info about Heroku's Config Vars

Configuration and Config vars

Discussion (32)

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mguimaraes16 profile image
Marcello Guimarães

Paula, you are a hero, I didn't realize that would be so easy, I was about to change my.net core api to get my Timezone(Brazil) and let be honest, it would be a headache, and it wasn't necessary, Thank you!!

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paulasantamaria profile image
Paula Santamaría Author

Glad I could help :D and thanks for reaching out!

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Brett Connolly • Edited

Hell yes! You saved me a heart attack. I couldn't figure out why my app that just went live was being screwy with the dates despite my testing and live environments being connected to the same database. Thank you!

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paulasantamaria profile image
Paula Santamaría Author

Timezone issues are a nightmare! Glad I could help :)

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raxraj profile image
ASHUTOSH KUMAR

Saved my little ar**!! Can't thank you enough Buddy!

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awelle profile image
Awelle

This just ended my 3-day heartache. Literally. Thank you for sharing.

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Paula Santamaría Author

I'm glad! Thanks for letting me know :)

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Mattia Sinisi

2 years later and this article is STILL useful

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Paula Santamaría Author

Thanks Mattia, glad to hear that :)

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Shristi Singh

I really was calculating times to adjust them, when I found this. I thought as regions are permanent timezones must be too. But huh. You saved me. Thanksss.

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madza profile image
Madza

Thanks, just found it useful 😉👍

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ysoul801 profile image
ysoul801 • Edited

I can't thank you enough ! just signed up to leave a comment (maybe more use in future d: )

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paulasantamaria profile image
Paula Santamaría Author

Glad to help! Also, you won't regret signing up to this platform :)

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Naotho Machida

Thanks! Solved

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Visakh Vijayan

Thank you so much

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Luis Gerónimo

¡Muchas gracias! Me ayudaste en mi proyecto de tesina.

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paulasantamaria profile image
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Leigh-Ann Friedel

Thank you so much for this article! I'm building an app with a small team and we have been fighting with getting proper dates to display. It's consistently been one day behind. This fixed it!

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paulasantamaria profile image
Paula Santamaría Author

Glad I could help! :)

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Monish Basaniwal

Time is a complex thing, and Paula you helped me out today. I never imagined it to be soo easy!

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paulasantamaria profile image
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felipealvarez23

Thank you men, It worked

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Andrii Hryhoriev

Many thanks for this advice!
It is REALLY helpful.
Good Luck!

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paulasantamaria profile image
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Keval navadiya

If I just add TZ config and I am doing something which requires system time will it use timezone set by using the TZ ?

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Luis

Sos muy crack Pau

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paulasantamaria profile image
Paula Santamaría Author

jajaja justo te iba a decir que no me habias dejado un comentario. Gracias, green mario.

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nirajsharma99

Thankyou so much this saved much of my time. You are awesome ;)

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Shashank Ojha • Edited

Thanks for Posting this.
It really helped.

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