zsh history includes a timestamp, with the option to disable it.

Beyond knowing when a command was executed, what's the reason for this? What features might I lose if I disable this?

  • Why isn't that sufficient reason?
    – Mikel
    Oct 21, 2017 at 11:47
  • Sure, but if thats the only reason. I'd happily disable it.
    – ideasman42
    Oct 21, 2017 at 12:02

2 Answers 2


zsh history includes a timestamp, if the EXTENDED_HISTORY feature is enabled, or if the SHARE_HISTORY feature is enabled; in the latter case, timestamps are used so multiple shells can read each others’ history accurately — they only need to read any new commands added since the last time they read the history file, and they can do so even when the history file is rewritten.

These features are enabled or disabled using setopt:

setopt extendedhistory
setopt sharehistory

will enable them, while

setopt noextendedhistory
setopt nosharehistory

will disable them.

If you want to keep shared histories, you’ll need to keep the extended timestamps (but you don’t need to explicitly enable the EXTENDED_HISTORY feature; the SHARE_HISTORY feature is self-sufficient).

Note that extended history tells you not only when a command was executed, but also how long it took to run, which can be useful in some cases.

The History section of the documentation has all the details.


If I recall correctly, ZSH uses the time stamp to reorder the historical commands when you have more than one session opened.

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