Is there a way I can change a Text field to a Date field and not toast the data that is already there?

1 Answer 1


You should not lose any data which already exists in your fields when changing field types - but if you have anything but a UNIX timestamp stored in the existing text field, the Date fieldtype won't know what to do with the data.


To update your existing fields from your current format (5/14/2013) to a timestamp for use with the Date fieldtype, put this code in a PHP-enabled template and run it (backup your database first of course):

    $this->EE =& get_instance();
    $current = $this->EE->db->query("
        SELECT entry_id, field_id_XX FROM exp_channel_data WHERE field_id_XX != ''
    foreach($current->result_array() as $row)
        $timestamp = strtotime($row['field_id_XX']);
            $this->EE->db->update_string('exp_channel_data', array('field_id_XX' => $timestamp), 'entry_id='.$row['entry_id'])
  • Hi Derek, the current values are in the format: 5/14/2013.
    – forrest
    Commented Jun 3, 2013 at 20:42
  • Just added some code to do the conversion for you. Commented Jun 3, 2013 at 20:53
  • Hi Derek, thank you very much. I'll give it a try and get back to you.
    – forrest
    Commented Jun 3, 2013 at 20:57
  • Derek. This is an excellent solution. I really appreciate the assistance on this.
    – forrest
    Commented Jun 4, 2013 at 17:46

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