Solving the SQL Server Error: “Conversion failed when converting date and/or time from character string.

Conversion failed when converting date and/or time from character string.

SQL Server is a powerful relational database management system widely used in various applications. However, like any other software, it is not exempt from encountering errors. One common error that developers and database administrators often come across is the “Conversion failed when converting date and/or time from character string” error. This error occurs when there is an issue converting a character string to a date or time data type in SQL Server. In this article, we will explore the potential causes of this error and discuss effective solutions to resolve it.

Understanding the Error:

When working with dates and times in SQL Server, it is essential to ensure proper conversion between character strings and date/time data types. The “Conversion failed when converting date and/or time from character string” error typically occurs when an invalid format or incompatible value is provided for a date or time column.

Causes of the Error:

  1. Invalid Date/Time Format: SQL Server expects date and time values to be in specific formats. If a character string does not adhere to the correct format, the conversion will fail, resulting in the error.
  2. Incompatible Values: SQL Server enforces restrictions on the range of valid date and time values. If a character string represents a date or time that falls outside this range, the conversion will fail.
  3. Null or Empty Values: If a character string is empty or contains a null value, the conversion to a date or time data type will fail.

Solutions to Resolve the Error:

  1. Verify the Date/Time Format: Ensure that the character string being converted adheres to the correct date and time format expected by SQL Server. Common formats include “YYYY-MM-DD” for dates and “HH:MM:SS” for times. Utilize functions such as CONVERT or TRY_CONVERT to explicitly specify the desired format during conversion.


SELECT CONVERT(DATETIME, '2023-05-27', 120) AS ConvertedDateTime;
  1. Handle Null or Empty Values: Check for null or empty values before attempting conversion. Use ISNULL or COALESCE functions to assign a default value or handle nulls appropriately.


SELECT CONVERT(DATETIME, ISNULL(date_column, '1900-01-01')) AS ConvertedDateTime
FROM your_table;
  1. Ensure Valid Date/Time Range: Verify that the character string represents a valid date or time within the range supported by SQL Server. This includes checking for valid year, month, day, hour, minute, and second values.


SELECT CONVERT(DATETIME, '2023-05-27 23:59:59') AS ConvertedDateTime;
  1. Handle Incorrect Data: If the error persists, examine the data in the affected column for any unexpected values or inconsistencies. Cleaning and correcting the data may be necessary before successful conversion can occur.
  2. Use TRY_CONVERT: If you are uncertain about the format or quality of the data, you can use the TRY_CONVERT function. It attempts the conversion and returns NULL if the conversion fails, allowing you to handle the error gracefully.


SELECT TRY_CONVERT(DATETIME, '2023-05-27') AS ConvertedDateTime;


The “Conversion failed when converting date and/or time from character string” error in SQL Server can be resolved by carefully examining the date/time format, handling null or empty values, ensuring valid ranges, and cleaning the data if necessary. Utilizing the appropriate conversion functions and techniques discussed in this article will help you overcome this error and ensure accurate data processing within your SQL Server environment.