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Beginner Geek: How to Customize the Date Format in the Windows Taskbar

Have you ever wished that Windows displayed the full date instead of the short date format that is displayed in the Windows 7 Taskbar? With this easy tutorial you will have Windows displaying the date exactly how you want it to.

To get started click the bottom right corner of the screen where the time and date are displayed in the system tray.

When the pop-up dialog opens, click on the “Change date and time settings…” link.

The Date and Time box should open, once it has click on the “Change date and time…” button.


Once you have clicked on the button, the Date and Time settings will open, here click on the “Change calendar settings”  link.

At last after all that clicking, you will arrive at the “Customize Format” Window. Here is where we will customize the way that Windows displays the date.  The field that you will want to customize is called “Short date:”. You can make it display in any format that you would like, see the legend below the screenshot for some examples.

You can configure your options using a combination of any of the letters below.

Legend:

d = Day
M = Month
y = Year

d = Displays the day as a number. Example: 20
ddd = Displays the day in abreviated format. Example: Sat
dddd = Displays the day as a full word. Example: Saturday

M = Displays the month as a number. Example: 8
MMM = Displays the month in abreviated format. Example: Aug
MMMM = Displays the month as a full word. Example: August

y = Displays the years last two numbers. Example: 11
yyy = Displays the year in full. Example: Aug

Additionally you can format you date with spaces or the “-” “,” “/” and “.” characters.

Example:
If we wanted our date to display as Saturday, August 20, 2011 i would change the “Short Date:” field to:
dddd, MMMM dd, yyyy

Below i have configured it to show the date in the format described in the legend.

Just what we were looking for.

Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

  • Published 08/30/11

Comments (30)

  1. dima

    whats up with the image on the front page taking over entire site?

  2. TaylorGibb

    Thanks for the heads up, its fixed now.

  3. jorge

    would be nice a windows nixie tubes clock

  4. BuLL

    The same can be accessed from “Control Panel>Region and Language”. The built-in formats for date are listed by default. To customize, click on “Additional Settings”

  5. Gabriel

    Thanks to awaken my mind to see new aspects of customising time table ^^

  6. Jim

    wish it was possible to add the ‘date’ still if you use small buttons on the win7 start menu

    (puts a minimal (time only) display in clock area if set to small icons)

  7. KayDat

    Might affect other areas of Windows, wherever short date is shown. I prefer doubling the task bar to two icons high instead, and turning auto hide on.

  8. Durban

    I’ve been in I.T. for almost 20 years now and have never found something as useful and this article. I will consider world domination after I get this working.

  9. TaylorGibb

    Hi, Durban

    Im glad i could be of assistance. Just remember that with great power comes great responsibility.

  10. Dave

    Now I wish I could customize the time as well. I want to see the seconds.

  11. Kat McCon

    TaylorGibb:
    Great tip! Now I have a more complicated computer issue. First, where may I post this question if you are able to take on this challenge?

  12. TaylorGibb

    Just post your problem here and ill have a look at it for you :)

  13. Danielle

    Wow this was fantastic. Even an idiot like me managed to get it to work. Thanks for the tip.

  14. Vibat

    Is it possible to show the time in 24 hour format ?

  15. Chiefs14

    Maybe I’m an idiot…. but for some reason, the date is not displaying, just the time?!? Is there some sort of setting I need to change to get the date to show too?

  16. LiamCarbin

    when I enter – dddd, MMMM dd, yyyy
    I just get the time =/

  17. TaylorGibb

    i think you guys might be displaying your system tray using small icons in that case you will only see the time, if this is the case, right click on the taskbar and select properties, there is a checkbox that says use small icons, uncheck this and click apply.

  18. Ushindi

    Actually, Taylor, my “Use Small Icons” box is not checked. Yesterday when I tried this great tip of yours, I had the entire display down on the system tray, but today, when I started my computer, I only have the short time visible. When I mouse over it, then I get the full date showing. Move the mouse away and the date disappears, and re-doing the settings doesn’t change anything. Any ideas? I really liked having the full date showing constantly.

  19. Kevin Schuette

    Does anyone know how to make the clock display hours, minutes, and seconds?

  20. Norman Flecha

    very neat and simple explaination could be help many computer dummies…

    I remember when I had no clue, great that U also provide back to the web great work!

  21. LiamCarbin

    @taylor neither is my small icons ticked

  22. Kat McCon

    I had the same experience as Ushandi. The complete time and date was there yesterday and today when I turned on computer, it shows only the time, until I place cursor over it…then and only then does it display the date.

    But on the other matter that I previously mentioned to you TaylorGibb, here it is. While you may have the solution…my problem will be in following your instructions.

    My new laptop of five months now, has an issue I have never had on a computer before. When I press the caps lock key, there is a delay in the changing over….from caps to lower case or vice versa. In other words, on all other computers I can continue typing at top speed, no pause, no delay. But now, my computer will not respond to any key strokes until it has switched over…while maybe only 5 or 6 seconds, it is aggravating to wait on it. It has had this problem since day 1.
    The following in my computer info: (I have had 2 other Dell laptops…none had this issue.)

    Dell N5010 Windows 7 Home Premium
    2009 Microsoft Corp
    Service Pack 1
    Intel(R) Core(TM i5 CPU M460 @ 2.53 GHz 2.53GHz
    Installed memory (RAM): 4.00 GB (3.80 GB usable)
    Internet Explorer 64-bit

    I hope your answer is one that is quite simple for me to follow. If it is very involved, I may blow up my computer….accidentally, lol.
    Thanks for any help you have.

  23. TaylorGibb

    @People whose date disappears, i have done some research and this is apparently a common problem for some people, you can get your date back by going to the screen where you changed the format of the date and clicking reset. This is a temporary fix and you will not be able to customize your date, however at least you’ll have your date back.

  24. JLynch

    I made this change and it also changed the date format in Quicken, which I could not correct without reverting back to the short date format. Any suggestions for the change without affecting other program date formats?

  25. MAC

    I used the following format and it solved the problem of only the time appearing with no date – might be worth a try for anyone having problems –

    dddd/dd/MM/yyyy

  26. Don Lefebvre

    This works fine on the task bar however, if you use Quicken, the dates get messed up and only show the Month and Year.

  27. Kat McCon

    Hi Taylor Gibb, I was able to do the temporary fix on date and time. Still trying to figure out other issue.

  28. James

    awwwwwwww yeaaaaaaaaa! Thanks I was looking for that.

  29. Ushindi

    Well, Taylor, I’m back to where I was, but thanks for the try – I appreciate it.

  30. DJ Rose

    After multiple tries this does not work. What you end up with is the same display at the top, the Day of the week beneath it and below that, the full display. I want to replace the entire display on the first line with full information. Day of the week, Month Day and Year. The article is useless. And it eventually corrects itself back to the original display format.Thanks for wasting my time.

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