How to Customize the Time and Date in the Mac Menu Bar

How to Customize the Time and Date in the Mac Menu Bar
The date and time in the Mac Menu Bar.
Khamosh Pathak

By default, the Mac menu bar displays the time in a simple hour and minute digital format. However, you can customize it and add the day of the week, date, or even a second hand.

You have a range of choices. If you prefer, you can keep it super minimal, and display only the hour and minute, as shown below.

Or, you can add the day and/or date, flashing separators, and seconds.

The clock displaying the time, including seconds, and the day and date in the Mac Menu Bar.

There’s also an analog clock option that disables all the other features (including the day and date).

You can customize the time and date in the System Preferences menu. To do so, click the Apple at the top left, and then click “System Preferences.”

If you’re running macOS Big Sur or higher, click “Dock & Menu Bar.”

Click "Dock & Menu Bar."

In the sidebar, click “Clock.”

Click "Clock."

On macOS Catalina or earlier, click “Date & Time,” and then click “Clock.”

If you want to add the day of the week and/or the date, just select the checkboxes next to “Show the Day of the Week” and/or “Show Date.”

Select "Show the Day of the Week" and "Show Date."

Below that section, you’ll see “Time Options.” Here, you can select the radio button next to “Analog” to display an analog clock.

To display a 24-hour clock, select the checkbox next to “Use a 24-hour Clock.” Select the checkbox next to “Show am/pm” to display when it’s morning and afternoon. You can also select “Flash the Time Separators” and/or “Display the Time with Seconds” here.

The "Time Options" menu on Mac.

All changes happen live. On macOS Big Sur or higher, you’ll see a preview of the current clock display at the top right of the “System Preferences” menu.


In addition to displaying the date in the menu bar, you can also add a drop-down calendar with Itsycal. Whenever you click it, you’ll see your calendar with all your appointments.

RELATED: How to See Which Programs Are Using All Your Mac’s Memory

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Lucila is a freelance writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to study new things. She enjoys checking out the latest grammar books and writing about video games more than anything else. If she's not running through Colorado’s breathtaking landscape, she's indoors hidden away in her cozy game room trolling noobs and leveling up an RPG character. She is a Final Fantasy IX apologist (although she loves them all… except XV), coffee aficionado, and a bit of a health nut. Lucila graduated from Western Kentucky University with a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing.

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