Pandas: How to use DataFrame.between_time() method

Updated: February 20, 2024 By: Guest Contributor Post a comment


Pandas is a powerful library in Python widely used for data manipulation and analysis. In this tutorial, we’ll explore the between_time() method of the DataFrame object. This method is extremely useful when you’re dealing with time series data and you want to filter rows within a certain time range within each day. From beginner to advanced usage, we’ll cover multiple examples with outputs to help you understand how to make the most of this method.

Working with between_time()

The between_time() method is designed to filter DataFrame rows that fall between the specified start time and end time. It’s particularly useful when you’re working with data indexed by datetime objects, allowing you to focus on a specific timeframe within your dataset.

Basic Usage

To start, let’s look at a simple example. Suppose we have a DataFrame df that is indexed by datetime:

import pandas as pd
import numpy as np

df = pd.DataFrame({
  'A': np.random.randn(288),
}, index=pd.date_range('2023-01-01', periods=288, freq='5T'))

This DataFrame contains a single column ‘A’ with 288 random numbers, indexed by datetime objects spread over a single day at 5-minute intervals. Let’s filter this DataFrame to select rows between 10:00 and 15:00:

filtered_df = df.between_time('10:00', '15:00')

Handling Time Zones

When working with datasets spanning multiple time zones, the between_time() method ’s flexibility becomes apparent.Attach timezone information to your DataFrame before applying the method:

df_timezone = df.tz_localize('UTC').tz_convert('US/Eastern')
filtered_timezone_df = df_timezone.between_time('10:00', '15:00')

Custom Time Ranges and Overlaps

One might think the between_time() method is limited to traditional day bounds, but it can also accommodate night hours, or any custom time range. For example:

night_filtered_df = df.between_time('22:00', '04:00')

Since the method by default does not include the end time, for a continuous range that overlaps midnight, you would want it to include the end time. This can be achieved using the include_end parameter:

night_filtered_df = df.between_time('22:00', '04:00', include_end=True)

Combining Filters

Besides filtering by time, the between_time() method can be combined with other DataFrame filters to further refine your dataset. For instance, if you want to filter by time and also filter rows based on some condition related to the column values:

df['B'] = np.random.randint(0, 100, size=len(df))
combined_filtered_df = df[(df.between_time('10:00', '15:00')) & (df['B'] > 50)]

Application in Time Series Analysis

In time series analysis, filtering specific time slots can be extremely valuable. Suppose your dataset represents hourly sales for a retail store, and you’re interested in analyzing performance during peak hours. Utilizing the between_time() method allows for precise extraction of the relevant data, aiding in a more precise analysis:

df_sales = pd.DataFrame({
  'Hour': pd.date_range(start='2023-01-01', periods=24, freq='H'),
  'Sales': np.random.randint(100, 500, size=24)

peak_sales = df_sales.between_time('12:00', '14:00')

Advanced Scenario: Chaining Methods

For more complex data manipulation needs, between_time() can be seamlessly integrated into a chain of methods for advanced data analysis. For example, combining it with groupby() and aggregate() functions for summarizing data within specific time windows:

df['Day'] =

summarized_df = df.between_time('09:00', '17:00').groupby('Day').aggregate('mean')


The between_time() method in Pandas is a flexible tool for narrowing down your data to specific time intervals. Whether you’re working within standard business hours or examining data across arbitrary time frames, it provides a straightforward way to extract exactly what you need from your time-indexed datasets. Mastering its use is an invaluable skill for anyone engaged in time series analysis.