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

Posted May 6, 2009 by Rob Rogers in Windows 7

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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The Conversation

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  • Anonymous

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


    So I get:


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

  • fede_pyro

    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

  • MG


  • MG


    • BRIAN


  • Tigger

    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.

    • Kc27315

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

  • VHall

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

    • Andy

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

      • ValerieLHall

        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!

  • Sugardalat

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

  • Sugardalat

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

  • crusty

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

  • crusty

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

  • friedrice

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

  • Mike D

    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.


  • Joe

    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!)

  • wschloss

    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!

  • Laura K

    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.


  • SkyAngel

    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.

  • monisa montoya

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