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Beginner Geek: View Different Time Zones in the Windows 7 Tray Clock

Do you need to keep up with time in different time zones around the world?  Here here we take a look at adding multiple zones to the Windows 7 System Tray Clock.

The New and Improved Taskbar Clock

The clock in the system tray of Windows 7 has been slightly updated from previous versions.  It shows the current time along with today’s date, whereas previous versions of Windows only showed the time by default.

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If you click on the clock in the system tray, you’ll see an analog clock showing the current time along with a calendar showing today’s date in the month.  You can change the time or add more clocks by clicking the Change date and time settings link in the bottom.

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This will open the Date and Time dialog, where you can change your system time, date, and time zone.

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To add additional clocks to the taskbar, select the Additional Clocks tab.  You can add up to 2 more clocks; just check Show this clock beside one or both clocks, select the time zone you want that clock to show, and enter a name that will help you remember what that time’s for.

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Feel free to specialize the display name to help you remember what the clock’s for.  For instance, if your Grandmother lives in Eastern Time, you could name EST as Grandma so you’ll always quickly know what time it is at Grandma’s house and never call her at a wrong time.  Or, you could enter a region name, or the time zone’s abbreviation itself if that’s easier for you.

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Now you can quickly see the time in all three places by simply hovering over the clock in your taskbar.

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If you click on the clock in the taskbar, you’ll now see 3 clocks.  The larger one is the current time in your time zone, while the other clocks are the extra ones you added before.  They’ll even show the correct day of the week below the clock if it’s currently a different day in these time zones.

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Keep up With Time Zones With The Clock Gadget

If you’d like to keep up with more than 3 time zones, or would simply like to have the clocks always available to view, the Clock desktop gadget is a great way to do this.  Right-click on your desktop and select Gadgets to add it to your desktop.

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Drag the Clock gadget out of the gallery, and place it wherever you’d like on your desktop.

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To customize your clock gadget with a name and specific time, click the gear button to open the gadget options pane.

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Now you can enter a name for your clock and select a time zone from the list.  By default the clock gadget will show your computer’s default time, but you can select any time zone so you’ll always remember the time in that area. Click OK when you’re done.

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Your new clock gadget will show the name in the middle of the clock, and the time in digital format including AM or PM when you hover over it. 

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You could even recreate the clock wall popular at banks and airports with the current time in different cities around the world.

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Conclusion

Although the extra clocks are not a groundbreaking feature in Windows 7, they do make it nicer to keep up with the time zones most important in your life.  World travelers know first hand how difficult it can be to keep up with the time in different continents for business meetings and more, but in today’s globalized world, it’s increasingly important for all of us to interact with different time zones. 

Here are some additional articles on how to customize or fix issues with the Clock in Windows 7, Vista and XP:

Who knew you could do so much with the Clock in Windows?

Matthew digs up tasty bytes about Windows, Virtualization, and the cloud, and serves them up for all to enjoy!

  • Published 08/6/10

Comments (3)

  1. Mike Burks

    In your article “Beginner Geek: View Different Time Zones in the Windows 7 Tray Clock”, what version of Win7 are you talking about? I have Win7 Home Premium and I do not have a date in my tray nor can I add a second clock. What gives??

  2. Matthew Guay

    @Mike Burks – I was actually using Windows 7 Home Premium myself. Do you have the clock on your taskbar? If not, you can restore it using this trick – http://techinch.com/2010/08/06/beginner-geek-remove-the-clock-volume-and-more-from-the-windows-7-taskbar/. Otherwise, I’m not sure … are you using a 3rd party clock addon? Let me know if you need more help!

  3. pokiri

    Good explanation, very helpful

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