I'm looking for a way to use meta_query to filter out posts with a meta-key value of a date-time in m/d/Y g:i a format.

The post-meta is being set by ACF (Advanced Custom Fields).

I want to maintain m/d/Y g:i a formatting for output on the frontend, but also need to filter out posts with dates in the past.

I know that I can use Ymd format, likeso:

$date_now = date('Y/m/d');
  $args = [

I also know that I can retrieve all posts and use a subsequent loop to discard the posts which don't meet requirements.

But is there a better way to do this? Thanks for reading.

  • 1
    I would try using DATETIME based on the WP_Query custom field parameters. I know it requires MySQL format (YYYY-MM-DD) for "BETWEEN" comparison but since you're asking for all those dates greater than or equal to the date given it may work. Source: codex.wordpress.org/Class_Reference/…
    – Tom
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 23:29

1 Answer 1


There should not be any need to do this.

Even if an ACF Field is using 'return_format' => 'm/d/Y g:i a',

The post_meta value is in YYYY-MM-DD 00:00:00 format.

$date_now = date('Y-m-d');
$args = [
  'meta_value'=>$date_now.' 00:00:00',
$query = new WP_Query( $args );

Edit: I've noticed some discrepancies in this, the value may be in Ymd. When in doubt, check the data. You can find the post_meta by looking up the post_id in the wp_postmeta table.

  • i wasn't aware of the ACF field value.. thought it would return, what i want it to, but that is only considered in functions, i guess. probably makes sense to always store the same value and than modify it on demand. thanks for the hint.
    – honk31
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 16:58
  • 1
    and instead of looking up the table, you can always get the value of a custom field wordpress style: echo '<pre>' . print_r(get_post_meta(get_the_ID(), 'FIELD_NAME'),1) . '</pre>'; aka the return value is Ymd, but Y-m-d was working fine, too.
    – honk31
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 17:03

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