Windows 7: Customize How the Date is Displayed in the System Tray

By default the Windows 7 taskbar uses large icons, which makes for a bigger taskbar. This easily allows not only the time to show in the system tray, but the date as well. You can customize how the date is displayed and what information it will show.

1. Go to the Control Panel.

2. Select Clock, Language, and Region.

3. Select Region and Language.

4. Click the Additional settings button.

5. Select the Date tab.

6. Go to the Date formats section. Use the Short date dropdown to select the desired display. Click the Apply button to view the results.

If you don’t see what you want, you can add your own by placing your cursor on the dropdown and typing.

You will need to keep these notations in mind:

d, dd are for displaying the date

ddd, dddd are for displaying the day of the week

M, MM, MMM, MMMM are for displaying the month

yy, yyyy are for displaying the year.

By using these notations and seperators such as hyphens, commas, periods, etc. you can customize your date to display in a number of ways.

For example:
ddd MM/dd/yy

will make your date look like this:

 

About Rob Rogers

Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
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22 Responses to “Windows 7: Customize How the Date is Displayed in the System Tray”

  1. May 13, 2009 at 6:14 am, Anonymous said:

    Good tip. I’ve had a double-sized Taskbar for years with XP. My time and date settings are like this:

    HH:mm:ss
    dd.MMM.yyyy

    So I get:

    16:13
    Wednesday
    13.May.2009

    Reply

    • August 23, 2010 at 10:32 pm, sam2095 said:

      If you really want small icons (I do) then bear in mind that if you hover over the clock you will see the date.

      Reply

  2. May 21, 2009 at 4:58 am, fede_pyro said:

    maybe you can help me, when i right-click a folder the otpion customize (like win xp and vista) it’s missing, so i cannot change the icon of the folder, did something bad in the installation or just bad luck with the .iso of the win 7

    Reply

  3. February 04, 2010 at 6:18 am, MG said:

    WHAT IF U DON’T WANT TO SEE THE DATE IN THE TASKBAR?

    Reply

  4. February 04, 2010 at 6:19 am, MG said:

    WHAT IF U DON’T WANT TO SEE THE DATE AT ALL?

    Reply

    • April 28, 2012 at 6:28 pm, BRIAN said:

      CLOSE YOUR EYES >.

      Reply

  5. April 02, 2010 at 7:38 pm, Tigger said:

    If in Taskbar and Start Menu Properties, on the Taskbar tab, there is a check mark in Use Small icons, the date will no longer be shown.

    Reply

    • July 11, 2010 at 1:04 am, Kc27315 said:

      wow, that worked great for me! Thank you Sooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!

      Reply

  6. May 20, 2010 at 9:04 pm, VHall said:

    This didn’t work. Still only have the time in the system tray! I really want the date to show.

    Reply

    • August 12, 2010 at 11:46 pm, Andy said:

      VHall, you need to use large icons on the taskbar. Right-click on the taskbar and clear the “use small icons” checkbox.

      Reply

      • August 13, 2010 at 4:36 am, ValerieLHall said:

        Andy: You are amazing! Thank you for taking the time to pass this info on to me. I love it! So simple and yet a huge difference! Thank you!

        Reply

  7. September 07, 2010 at 7:31 am, Sugardalat said:

    What if I want to show the date while using small icon?

    Reply

  8. September 07, 2010 at 7:32 am, Sugardalat said:

    how can I show the date while using the small icon? I need to use the small icon and need to see the date…

    Reply

  9. January 04, 2011 at 4:54 pm, crusty said:

    Didn’t work. I’m using Windows7. Error message; ‘characters are invalid. try using different characters’

    Reply

  10. January 04, 2011 at 4:58 pm, crusty said:

    Figured it out. Don’t do it under ‘additional settings’. Just type in custom date format first place you see ‘short date’

    Reply

  11. March 18, 2011 at 7:01 pm, friedrice said:

    How can i change the background color just where the date/time are displayed or can I choose a color for the date/time?

    Reply

  12. December 29, 2012 at 11:10 pm, Mike D said:

    Just a quick note. If you are using the “Small Icons” property for your task bar then you will not be able to get the date and time. I just figured this out. The extra height of the normal icons gives you room for this to work.

    Mike

    Reply

  13. January 11, 2013 at 3:20 pm, Joe said:

    Two things:

    (1) For some reason the Windows 7 taskbar clock seems to use the ‘long date’ format instead of the short – is there perhaps some registry trick to have the taskbar clock use the short date format?

    (2) If I prefer a toolbar height of one row and also small icons, is there a way to still show the date as well as time in the taskbar clock? I have plenty of horizontal space, but there does not seem to be a way to ‘stretch’ the taskbar clock or notification area to be wider.

    Also – it wants to always display the long weekday name, no matter what formatting options are used, which requires even more space, which makes it even harder to show the desired customized date/time.

    I’m surprised such a simple, basic and ubiquitous feature is lacking! I just want to see the current date in my taskbar! (I think I will have to resort to getting an actual physical desktop clock since W7 doesn’t seem to be up to the task!)

    Reply

  14. February 05, 2013 at 2:29 pm, wschloss said:

    Is there a way to get it without double-size taskbar, which takes too much space? I want to see: Tue Feb/4/2013 2:25pm all on the top row. And to be even more a pain in the butt; I don’t want to use an add in, freeware, etc. I can get the format, but not all on one line. Thanks!

    Reply

  15. June 27, 2013 at 5:05 am, Laura K said:

    I want small icons, but I want the date to be shown always & not just when I hover over it. Is this possible? Or, can I only have both displayed if I have the bar larger and larger icons? I only have a small notebook screen and didn’t want the taskbar taking up so much room.

    Thanks!

    Reply

  16. September 17, 2013 at 8:53 pm, SkyAngel said:

    Solved it!

    Hello, I found this problem extremely annoying and there was no answer on all the message boards so when I solved it I wanted to let people checking the boards know how to solve it.

    Just go to your screen resolution, lower it, hit apply. You’ll notice your taskbar fixes itself, then go change your resolution back up again.

    If for some reason that doesn’t work you can download a date & time software for your taskbar. This is a sure solution beyond Control Panel-Regional Date & Time settings.

    Reply

  17. March 05, 2014 at 4:50 pm, monisa montoya said:

    Thanks.
    Once I retired I wake up and cannot remember what day of the week it is.

    Reply

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