How to Fully Customize the Time and Date Format in Windows 10

Windows shows the time and date both in the taskbar and flyout calendar panel in a very traditional way: i.e. the date is represented by two digits and backward slash (/) as a separator. The time is represented in either 24-hour or 12-hour format while using a colon (:) as the separator between hours, minutes, and seconds.

Maybe you want to use dashes or dots as the separator, show day of the week in the taskbar, use a custom symbol for AM and PM, etc. Here is how you can fully customize the time and date format in Windows 10.

Customize Time Format

To fully customize the time and date formats you have to dig deep within the Control Panel. But as a reward, you are provided with plenty of options to customize the time and date formats. If needed, you can even customize the number and currency formats, too.

The below method works for Windows 7 and 8.

1. The Settings app in Windows 10 lets you customize basic formatting settings for both Time and Date. For advanced format customization it will redirect you to the good old Control Panel. We will start by opening Control Panel from the Start menu.

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2. After opening the Control Panel, make sure that “View By” is set to “Category,” and click on the “Change date, time, or number formats” link.

time-and-date-format-windows-click-change-date-and-time-link

3. You will be taken to the Region window where you can change the basic format by selecting pre-defined formats from the dropdown menu. Since we want to further customize the formatting, click on the “Additional Settings” button.

time-and-date-format-windows-click-additional-settings

4. In the customize format window go to the Time tab. Here you can customize how the short time (appears on the taskbar) and long time (appears in the flyout calendar panel) looks. All you have to do is enter the appropriate notation in the “Short Time” and “Long Time” fields under the “Time Formats” section.

Fortunately, you can see what notations to use and what they actually mean under the “What the notations mean” section. If you want to, you can also customize the separator between hours, minutes, and seconds to whatever you want.

Note: the Short Time cannot display seconds on the taskbar. Seconds are only visible in the flyout calendar panel.

5. Similarly, you can enter your own symbols for both AM and PM.

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6. Once you are done, click on the “Apply” button to see the changes applied instantly.

If you think you made a mistake, you can reset everything to system defaults by clicking on the “Reset” button.

Customize Date Format

1. To customize the date format, go to the Date tab. Unlike the Time tab, the Date tab gives you quite a few notations to play around with.

2. Just like with the Time, type the notations in the Short Date and Long Date fields under the “Date Formats” section to customize how the date appears in the taskbar and in the calendar panel. For instance, I’ve used the date format “ddd, dd/MM/yyyy” to display the date as “Wed, 22/08/2018” in the taskbar.

You can see what notations to use and what they actually mean in the same section. Additionally, though Windows doesn’t explicitly tell you, you can display the full name of the month using the “MMMM” notation and short name of the week (eg: Fri) using the “MMM” notation.

3. After customizing, click on the “Apply” button to save the changes. The changes are instantly applied.

time-and-date-format-windows-date-format

Play with different notations, shuffle them, and use different separators and symbols to get most out of customizing the date and time.

Comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences regarding using the above method to customize the date and time formats in Windows.

Vamsi Krishna Vamsi Krishna

Vamsi is a tech and WordPress geek who enjoys writing how-to guides and messing with his computer and software in general. When not writing for MTE, he writes for he shares tips, tricks, and lifehacks on his own blog Stugon.

3 comments

  1. I keep changing the taskbar to include the day of the week, and Windows keeps changimg it back randomly. I presume this happens during upgrades. Very annoying.

    1. @bonn Johnson
      Windows uses the function mostly from Unicode; where:
      h – 12 hours • H – 24 hours • m – minutes • s – seconds, y – year

      But then it takes some liberties:
      • tt – AM/PM … in Unicode, it’s a (lowercase A) … h a = 11 AM
      • d – day and weekday … in Unicode, d is only day, and E/e/c for weekday
      • M – month … in Unicode, M is for formatted month, and L is for stand-alone; this distinction doesn’t appear in English, but for example in Lower Sorbian, it’s “‎31. ‎julija” (formatted) but “‎julij” (stand-alone) alone. Windows switches between both depending on the existence of d/dd
      • g – era … in Unicode, it’s G … that’s all, just wrong case
      …but the era input also lacks translation in Swedish for some reason

      And it lacks a lot of options:
      • Y – year in week, such as on the 30 Dec 2019, it’s the start of week 1, and Y will say 2020.
      • q/Q – quarter of the year (q formatted, Q stand-alone); as of 31 July, it’s Q2.
      • w – week of year; as of 31 July 2019, it’s week 31, following standard ISO order.
      • D – day of year; as of 31 July, it’s 212 (213 on leap years).
      • b – AM/PM, but uses noon/midnight instead of 12 PM/12 AM
      • B – morning/afternoon/evening/night; uses more descriptive time of day instead of AM/PM
      • K – 12 hour time, but instead of 12, it says 0 … midnight = 0 AM
      • k – 24 hour time, but instead of 0, it says 24 … midnight = 24:00
      • z – timezone name; Central European Time
      • Z – timezone offset; UTC+01:00

      I wished Windows used the syntax from Unicode and allowed us full input

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