I need to do a command that takes yesterday date and builds it into a file path like this:

copy "Something 2010-12-06\*.zip" "d:\Copy\"

where 2010-12-6 is yesterday's date in format yyyy-mm-dd.

Based on link in answer, I found this solution, which is close to what I want, but not quite:

For /f "tokens=1-3 delims=/ " %%a in ('date /t') do (set cdate=%%c-%%b-%%a)
echo "Backup Set*\Backup Files %cdate% *\*.zip" 

This give me today's date, How can I get yesterday's date?

  • This only works if the regional settings display the date as: dd/mm/yyyy
    – Hydaral
    Jul 12, 2011 at 1:06

3 Answers 3


This is really messy at the moment, but it does work. I'll try naming things properly and tidying it up later tonight, unless anybody else wants to edit my answer.

@echo off
call :GetDate year month day
echo/Today is: %year%-%month%-%day%
goto :part2

:GetDate yy mm dd
set t=2&if "%date%z" LSS "A" set t=1
for /f "skip=1 tokens=2-4 delims=(-)" %%a in ('echo/^|date') do (
  for /f "tokens=%t%-4 delims=.-/ " %%d in ('date/t') do (
    set %%a=%%d&set %%b=%%e&set %%c=%%f))
endlocal&set %1=%yy%&set %2=%mm%&set %3=%dd%&goto :eof

call :DateToDays %year% %month% %day% days
echo/It has been %days% days since 1970-01-01
goto :part3

:DateToDays %yy% %mm% %dd% days

set yy=%1&set mm=%2&set dd=%3
if 1%yy% LSS 200 if 1%yy% LSS 170 (set yy=20%yy%) else (set yy=19%yy%)
set /a dd=100%dd%%%100,mm=100%mm%%%100
set /a z=14-mm,z/=12,y=yy+4800-z,m=mm+12*z-3,j=153*m+2
set /a j=j/5+dd+y*365+y/4-y/100+y/400-2472633
endlocal&set %4=%j%&goto :eof

set /a yesterday=%days%-1

call :DaysToDate %yesterday% yy mm dd
echo/Yesterday was %yy%-%mm%-%dd%
goto :copy

:DaysToDate %days% yy mm dd
set /a a=%1+2472632,b=4*a+3,b/=146097,c=-b*146097,c/=4,c+=a
set /a d=4*c+3,d/=1461,e=-1461*d,e/=4,e+=c,m=5*e+2,m/=153,dd=153*m+2,dd/=5
set /a dd=-dd+e+1,mm=-m/10,mm*=12,mm+=m+3,yy=b*100+d-4800+m/10
(if %mm% LSS 10 set mm=0%mm%)&(if %dd% LSS 10 set dd=0%dd%)
endlocal&set %2=%yy%&set %3=%mm%&set %4=%dd%&goto :eof

copy "Something %yy%-%mm%-%dd%\*.zip" "d:\Copy\"


Source of the script snippets I used.

  • Well, it's messy, but it works...
    – awe
    Jun 19, 2012 at 11:10

This post deals with getting the date in whatever format you like into a variable: http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/956/windows-batch-file-bat-to-get-current-date-in-mmddyyyy-format/

subtraction and variable usage is here: http://commandwindows.com/variables.htm

that should about do it...

  • How can I get yesterday's date?
    – awe
    Dec 7, 2010 at 11:47
  • today's date - 1 Dec 7, 2010 at 11:47
  • the /a is important i think...directly from the second link: set /a counter=%counter%+1 would lead me towards set /a counter = %a%-1 and reassigning cdate. they talk about it in the arithmetic section Dec 7, 2010 at 11:51
  • That works if I should just decrement the day component, but what if today is the first in the month?
    – awe
    Dec 7, 2010 at 11:56
  • needs to be some if then logic....i would look at a calendar app to get an idea of how others have determined what months have how many days. Dec 7, 2010 at 11:58

My date format looks like this:

E:\>date /t
Wed 10/17/2012

This works for my format:

E:\>echo %date:~10,4%-%date:~4,2%-%date:~7,2%
  • The issue is not formatting the date value. It is getting yesterday's date.
    – awe
    Feb 8, 2013 at 12:43

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