One of our readers wanted to know what is a good clock replacement for the default Taskbar clock in Windows because he didn't like the format in which Windows shows the time and date. While many power users would want to replace the system tray clock on the Taskbar with a more powerful one for extra features, the format of the built-in clock in modern versions of Windows is customizable. In this article we will see how we can change the format.
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 7 and Windows 8 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.
Open Control Panel using any of these methods.
- On Windows 7, locate Region and Language and open it. On Windows 8.1 and Windows 8, this is just called Region.
- Click the Additional Settings button.
- 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.
- You get the new Date format in the taskbar instantly!
- For changing the time you can use the same trick to change the format, but instead of changing 'Short time', change the Long time to see the change on the Taskbar. For example, to switch to a 24 hour clock, type HH:mm:ss and remove the 'tt' notation.
Well that's it! If all you wanted to do was this, then you don't need third party clock apps.
Bonus tip: You can make the Taskbar time show the seconds too using 7+ Taskbar Tweaker, which we covered recently. Open 7+ Taskbar Tweaker. In the rightmost column, you will see the option called "Display seconds on the tray clock". Check it and instantly, seconds will be shown too. Note that if you are using a less powerful machine or a mobile device, it's better to not display seconds.
This is how a customized tray clock looks.
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