How To Get Running Time In Python

When it comes to measuring the performance of a Python program, one crucial metric to consider is the running time. Understanding the running time of your code can help you optimize it for better efficiency and performance. In this article, I will guide you through various techniques to get the running time of your Python code, providing personal insights and commentary along the way.

Using the time module

The simplest way to measure the running time of your Python code is by using the built-in time module. This module provides a variety of functions to work with time, including functions for measuring elapsed time.

To get the running time of a specific section of your code, you can use the time.time() function. This function returns the current time as a floating-point number representing the number of seconds since the epoch.

import time

start_time = time.time()

# Your code here

end_time = time.time()
running_time = end_time - start_time

print(f"The running time is: {running_time} seconds")

By subtracting the start time from the end time, we can obtain the running time of the code in seconds. This gives us a baseline measurement to analyze the performance of our program.

Using the timeit module

While the time module can provide us with a basic measurement of the running time, the timeit module offers a more robust and accurate way to time our code. The timeit module is specifically designed for benchmarking code snippets.

With the timeit module, we can easily create small code snippets and run them repeatedly to get a more accurate measurement of their running time. This can be especially useful when comparing the performance of different algorithms or code implementations.

import timeit

code_snippet = '''
# Your code here

running_time = timeit.timeit(code_snippet, number=1000)

print(f"The average running time is: {running_time} seconds")

In the example above, we can see that we can provide a code snippet as a string to the timeit.timeit() function, along with the number of times we want to execute it. The function will then execute the code snippet multiple times and calculate the average running time.

Profiling with cProfile

If you need to analyze the running time of your entire program or specific functions in more detail, the cProfile module can provide valuable insights. The cProfile module is a built-in Python module that performs deterministic profiling of Python programs.

To use the cProfile module, you can simply import it and run your code with the -m cProfile flag in the command line:

python -m cProfile

This will generate a detailed report of the running time of each function in your code, including the number of calls, total time, and time per call. By analyzing this report, you can identify performance bottlenecks and optimize your code accordingly.


Measuring the running time of your Python code is essential for optimizing its performance. In this article, we explored various techniques to get the running time, including using the time module, the timeit module, and the cProfile module for profiling. By incorporating these techniques into your development process, you can gain valuable insights into the performance of your code and make informed optimization decisions.

Remember, understanding the running time of your code is just the first step in the journey towards writing efficient and high-performing Python programs. Continuous learning, experimentation, and optimization are key to becoming a proficient Python developer.