How to calculate elapsed / execute time in Java

This example show you 3 ways to calculate the program elapsed / execution time in milliseconds.

1. Date().getTime()

	long lStartTime = new Date().getTime();
	//some tasks
	long lEndTime = new Date().getTime();
	long difference = lEndTime - lStartTime;
	System.out.println("Elapsed milliseconds: " + difference);

2. System.currentTimeMillis()

	long lStartTime = System.currentTimeMillis();
	//some tasks
	long lEndTime = System.currentTimeMillis();
	long difference = lEndTime - lStartTime;
	System.out.println("Elapsed milliseconds: " + difference);

3. System.nanoTime()

	long lStartTime = System.nanoTime();
	//some tasks
	long lEndTime = System.nanoTime();
	long difference = lEndTime - lStartTime;
	System.out.println("Elapsed milliseconds: " + difference/1000000);

Full Example

package com.mkyong.time
import java.util.Date;
public class TimeApp {
	public static void main(String[] argv) {
		long lStartTime = new Date().getTime(); // start time
		createArray(); // some tasks to eat time
		long lEndTime = new Date().getTime(); // end time
		long difference = lEndTime - lStartTime; // check different
		System.out.println("Elapsed milliseconds: " + difference);
	public static void createArray() {
		try {
		} catch (InterruptedException e) {
		String sArray[] = new String[1000000];
		for (int i = 0; i < 1000000; i++)
			sArray[i] = "Array " + i;


Elapsed milliseconds: 2379


  1. System.nanoTime() JavaDoc
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  • Ade Malsasa Akbar

    But how if i wanna count total minutes from two different time? Times are start hour:minute and end hour:minute? Please give an answer copy to my blog. Thank you…

  • Anonymosu

    You can also use StopWatch class from Spring to calculate time difference as shown in this article.

  • mydhinda

    Expected java would have something in built.
    But this is a good approach too !
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Kouassi

    What is the time equivalent in Swiss if CET time is reading at 2:30pm ?

    How do we calculate other time difference from java?