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Go – ParseDate Function in net/mail package in Go

In this article, we will explore the ParseDate Function in net/mail package in Go in detail, along with examples.


The Go programming language, often referred to as Golang, is widely known for its simplicity and efficiency in writing concurrent and networked applications. Among the standard libraries provided by Go, the ‘net/mail’ package is designed to help developers handle email-related tasks. In this article, we will discuss the ParseDate function, a key feature of the ‘net/mail’ package, and explore its purpose, usage, and an example to understand its functionality better.

What is ParseDate?

The ParseDate function is part of the ‘net/mail’ package in Go, which primarily deals with email processing tasks such as parsing email addresses and messages. This function specifically is used to parse date strings in emails conforming to the format specified in RFC 5322, which is the Internet Message Format used for email transmission.

Function Signature

The function signature for ParseDate is as follows:

func ParseDate(date string) (time.Time, error)

The ParseDate function takes a date string as input and returns a ‘time.Time’ value along with an error. If the parsing is successful, the error returned will be nil. Otherwise, an error containing information about the issue will be returned.


Let’s take a look at an example to understand how the ParseDate function works:

package main

import (

func main() {
	dateString := "Fri, 24 Mar 2023 10:00:00 GMT"

	parsedDate, err := mail.ParseDate(dateString)

	if err != nil {
		fmt.Println("Error parsing date:", err)

	fmt.Printf("Parsed date: %s\n", parsedDate.Format(time.RFC1123))

In this example, we have an email date string, “Fri, 24 Mar 2023 10:00:00 GMT”, which is in the RFC 5322 format. We pass this string to the ParseDate function and store the returned ‘time.Time’ value in ‘parsedDate’. If there is an error, we print it and exit the program. Otherwise, we print the successfully parsed date in RFC 1123 format.


Parsed date: Fri, 24 Mar 2023 10:00:00 GMT

As seen in the output, the date string has been successfully parsed using the ParseDate function, and the resulting ‘time.Time’ value is printed.


The ParseDate function of the ‘net/mail’ package in Go is a useful tool for parsing date strings in emails according to the RFC 5322 format. This function simplifies the process of handling email dates and allows developers to focus on more complex tasks related to email processing. As demonstrated in the example above, ParseDate is easy to use and can help manage date information in email messages effectively.

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Posted in golang, net, packages

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