Customize the taskbar date and time formats in Windows 10

If you are interested in knowing how to customize the format of the built-in taskbar clock in Windows 10, then read this article. Today we will see how we can change the format of clock you see in the system try (bottom right corner).

In Windows XP and Windows Vista, the taskbar was thinner and so only the time was shown by default on the taskbar. If you made the taskbar thicker, then it showed the date, day and time. But the redesigned taskbar in Windows 10 already shows the date and time. The date on the taskbar is shown in the short format whereas the time is shown in the long format. Depending on the system locale and language of Windows that you use, the format will be different but you can easily customize this.

  1. Open Control Panel using any of these methods.
  2. Locate Control Panel\Clock, Language, and Region\Region and open it. Windows 10 Control Panel Region 1 Windows 10 Control Panel Region 2
  3. Click the Additional Settings button.
  4. Go to the Date tab. There you will see the notation of the short and long date formats and a preview of how it shows. You can type your own format there. For English (United States), the short format is M/d/yyyy. Change it to anything you want. I changed it to ddd, d MMM yyyy and clicked Apply. Windows 10 short date format
  5. You get the new Date format in the taskbar instantly!
    Before: Windows 10 new date format system tray before

    After: Windows 10 new date format system tray

  6. For changing the time you can use the same trick to change the format. For example, to switch to a 24 hour clock, type HH:mm:ss and remove the 'tt' notation: Windows 10 short time format

That's it. Leave a comment if you have any question.

8 thoughts on “Customize the taskbar date and time formats in Windows 10

  1. James

    Sergey, is it possible to date displayed when the icons are “small”, i.e. when the taskbar is thin? Now when the taskbar is thin – displays only the time.

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      no, it is not possible.

    2. Kevin P

      It is possible. Right click on TaskBar. Uncheck ‘Lock the taskbar’. Then move the mouse pointer to the top of task bar, it will change into a double headed arrow. Click and drag it a bit up. The size of taskbar will increase and now the Date and Time appears together.

  2. Dodgester

    I don’t like either option of either increasing taskbar height (that eats up way too much real estate), nor uncheckmark use small icons (that also increases the height of the task bar creating the same issue of eating up too much real estate). Why can’t there be an option to show the DoW, Date, and Time all in the same row as there is plenty of room for that on both of my 27″ monitors as the height of both monitors is much shorter than the width of both monitors.

    1. Eduardo

      Dodgester, I moved my taskbar to the left of the screen. My screen is wide, so I don’t need all that side real estate, and I can make the taskbar as wide as I want

  3. Ed

    These changes seem to affect how time/date are displayed throughout Windows, not just in the time/date displayed in the system tray. Right?

    I want a different format in the system tray clock from what I want to see in the File Explorer. For example, seeing the year in the system tray is less than useful, but is a necessity in File Explorer. This is not supported, right? One day, maybe $10B more in research investment and they may add that. Adjusting font would be nice too. Seconds nice too. Basically, if they could build a time machine and go back to the 1990’s and bring the developer of T-clock into the present, that might work. So Microsoft, get to work on that time machine!

    All of that is impossible in Win 10, right? And BTW, I bet you Microsoft has people working on a time machine, but nobody working on adding seconds to the system tray clock.

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      yep, you are right. These changes will affect the time format used in Windows apps.

  4. Gill

    It works great for the date, but not the time. My system time shows the short form is the same as long form – includes seconds, but the taskbar is still the original short form – no seconds. The same seems to be the case in the screenshot above. Is there any way of correcting this?


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