How to Enable Seconds for the Taskbar Clock in Windows 11

Microsoft has updated the Windows 11 taskbar, so it can finally show seconds in the clock. Such a feature was available in Windows 10, but required you to apply a Registry tweak. With Windows 11, Microsoft significantly improved it and added an option to the Settings app. Enabling seconds is now a matter of few clicks.

It is worth noting that initial Windows 11 version didn't not include the appropriate options. For example, both 21H2 and 22H2 releases have no native options. As you may already know, in Windows 11 Microsoft has re-created the taskbar from scratch. Some of its features were lost due this change.

The initial version of Windows 11 doesn't allow the user to move the taskbar, launch the task manager from the context menu, drag and drop documents onto running app icons, and more. Some of the missing feature made their return with Windows 22H2.

Finally, starting in build 25246 you enable taskbar clock seconds effortlessly. The appropriate options now resides in the Settings app. But if you are running an older build of the OS, you can go with an alternative solution provided in a dedicated chapter of this article.

Tip: You can quickly find what is your Windows 11 version by pressing Win +R and typing winver. In the "About Windows" box you will find the build number and OS version.

So, if you have Windows 11 build 25246+, do the following.

Enable Seconds for Taskbar Clock in Windows 11

  1. Open the Settings app by pressing Win + I.
  2. Navigate to Personalization > Taskbar, and click on Taskbar behaviors.
  3. Check the "Show seconds in system tray clock" option to make the taskbar show seconds.
  4. You can now close the Settings app.

Done.

💡If you don't have the "Show seconds in system tray clock" checkbox in the Settings app, you may need to make it visible manually. Microsoft made it hidden in certain Windows 11 builds to perform A/B testing of the seconds feature. Due to its testing nature, you may be out of the select group of user with the option available.

Fix the missing "Show seconds in system tray clock" option in the Settings app

  1. Download ViveTool from here. If you need help with this free open-source app, check out this post.
  2. Extract the downloaded ZIP file to the c:\vivetool folder.
  3. Now, right-click the Start button and select Terminal(Admin).
  4. In Terminal, type c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:41314201 and press Enter.
  5. Make sure that the console contains the message "Successfully set feature configuration".
  6. Restart your computer to apply the changes.

Now you should have the "Show seconds in system tray clock" checkbox under Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar behaviors.

Alternatively, you can apply a Registry tweak to enable or disable the seconds feature. This will allow you to automate it or deploy to several devices. But keep in mind that it only works that the above reviewed checkbox option exists in Settings.

Enable seconds using a Registry tweak

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Run from the menu.
  2. Type regedit in the Run box and hit Enter to open the Registry editor app.
  3. Navigate to this key in the left pane: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced.
  4. Right-click the Advanced key in the left and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value from the menu.
  5. Name the new value as ShowSecondsInSystemClock and set it to 1.
  6. Now, restart the Explorer shell to apply the tweak.

The clock in the taskbar will now have seconds.

While two above methods work in post-22H2 releases, you still may be running an older Windows 11 version, such as 22H2 itself or even 21H2.  In these versions of Windows 11, you need to use alternative methods, as both Registry and Settings option is not available there. Here are the solutions you can use.

Solution for Windows 11 21H2

While the new taskbar in Windows version 21H2 is not customizable, it is easy to re-enable the classic style of taskbar. With a simple Registry tweak you can get back the Windows 10-like taskbar that is able to render seconds.

Do the following.

  1. Press Win + R and type regedit in the Run box.
  2. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell\Update\Packages key.
  3. Right-click the Packages key in the left pane and select New > DWORD (32-bit value.
  4. Name the new value as UndockingDisabled and set it to 1.
  5. Now, go to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced key in the Registry editor.
  6. Under that key, create the ShowSecondsInSystemClock 32-bit DWORD value that is already familiar to you, and set it to 1.
  7. Restart Windows 11.

You will now have the classic Start menu, the classic taskbar will all advanced features restored, and it will show the seconds for the clock.

💡Tip: You can save yourself a lot of time and use the Winaero Tweaker freeware. It allows you to enable both seconds for the clock and the classic start menu and taskbar easily with two clicks.

You can download Winaero Tweaker here.

Sadly, this method does work for Windows 11 22H2. But as a last resort, you can go with a third-party tool called ExplorerPatcher.  It changes bits in Windows 11 and

Solution for both Windows 11 22H2 and 21H2

  1. Download ExplorerPatcher and run the installer.
  2. Wait for the app to relaunch the Windows shell for you. The screen may look black for some short period of time.
  3. Right-click the taskbar, and select Properties item added by the ExplorerPatcher app.
  4. In the left panel of its window, click on System tray.
  5. On the right, click the Show seconds in the clock option.You are done. The change will apply instantly. So you will have seconds visible.

You can undo the change from the ExplorerPatcher's properties. Also, uninstalling it will restore the default Windows 11 taskbar with its default clock appearance.

That's it.

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