Check If a Date is Yesterday in JavaScript or Node.js

Sometimes you want to check if a given date represents “yesterday”, the previous day of today. For example, this use-case appears in UI elements where you’re showing relative dates like “yesterday” instead of the YYYY-MM-DD format.

This tutorial shows you how to detect whether a given date is yesterday!

Node.js Series Overview

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  4. Remove Extra Spaces From a String in JavaScript or Node.js
  5. Remove Numbers From a String in JavaScript or Node.js
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  7. Get the Part After a Character in a String in JavaScript or Node.js
  8. How to Check if a Value is a String in JavaScript or Node.js
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  18. Check If a String Is in Lowercase in JavaScript or Node.js
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  20. Get the Part After First Occurrence in a String in JavaScript or Node.js
  21. Get the Part Before First Occurrence in a String in JavaScript or Node.js
  22. Get the Part Before Last Occurrence in a String in JavaScript or Node.js
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  31. Lowercase the First Character of a String in JavaScript or Node.js (Coming soon)
  32. Uppercase the First Character of a String in JavaScript or Node.js (Coming soon)
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Detect Whether a Date is Yesterday Using JavaScript

The idea for the comparison is to check whether a candidate date matches the same year, month, and day as yesterday. For that, we’re calculating “yesterday” first by removing a day from a date.

Removing a day may switch months, or even years (on New Years) and JavaScript handles all that for us. We can expect a valid “yesterday” by removing one day from “today”.

When retrieving a date’s year you should pick the getFullYear method. This method returns the full year number, like 2022. In contrast, JavaScript’s getYear number returns the number of years since 1900 which returns 122 for 2022.

Use the getDate method to retrieve the days in a months. Same here, the getDay method sounds intuitive but that returns the day in the week instead of the day in the month.

Here’s a isYesterday utility function allowing you to detect if a given date matches tomorrow:

/**
 * Determine whether the given `date` is yesterday.
 *
 * @param {Date} date
 *
 * @returns {Boolean}
 */
function isYesterday (date) {  
  if (!(date instanceof Date)) {
    throw new Error('Invalid argument: you must provide a "date" instance')
  }

  const yesterday = new Date()
  yesterday.setDate(yesterday.getDate() - 1)

    return date.getDate() === yesterday.getDate() &&
         date.getMonth() === yesterday.getMonth() &&
         date.getFullYear() === yesterday.getFullYear()
}

Now you can use the isYesterday function from above like this:

isYesterday()  
// 💥 Error: Invalid argument: you must provide a "date" instance

isYesterday(new Date())  
// false

// assuming today is "2022-11-17"
isYesterday(new Date('2022-11-16'))  
// true

// assuming today is "2023-01-01"
isYesterday(new Date('2022-12-31'))  
// true

Enjoy checking dates for tomorrow!


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