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I set up some custom date formats, and while at first the date in the menu bar did honor them, now I've noticed it stopped and it's just using a standard one.

How do I switch it back?

Screenshot: screenshot

If I click on it, it shows it using my custom format, but that's infinitely pointless.

I'm running 10.10.3, IIRC I updated yesterday (from a 10.10.?, likely the one just before this one), but I'm not sure it's this update who broke it.

  • Please show how you set it up – markhunte Apr 19 '15 at 11:22
  • does my answer here help? apple.stackexchange.com/a/181508/85275 – Tetsujin Apr 19 '15 at 12:35
  • @Tetsujin no, thanks. That's exactly what I have done and do not work anymore. It works on other places, just not on the menu bar. – o0'. Apr 19 '15 at 12:42
  • For the record, now I'm using yyyy-MM-dd, HH:mm • e/'w' – qqq,w. – o0'. Apr 23 '15 at 9:33
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+50

This is the new behaviour in Yosemite and it can't easily be changed. The menu bar format now doesn't read your custom format and instead displays a barely customizable format instead. The only available options for it can be found in System Preferences -> Date & Time -> Clock.

One thing you could do is use a third party utility like Day-O, which is free and does exactly what you seek -> http://shauninman.com/archive/2011/10/20/day_o_mac_menu_bar_clock https://shauninman.com/archive/2016/10/20/day_o_2_mac_menu_bar_clock.

If you want things more natively, you could try editing the corresponding plist file directly (com.apple.menuextra.clock). I haven't however had much luck with it.

Open Terminal and type the following:

Reading the current settings:

defaults read com.apple.menuextra.clock

Setting them:

defaults write com.apple.menuextra.clock "DateFormat" 'EEE hh:mm a'

Or 24 hours format with the (day of the) month and seconds:

defaults write com.apple.menuextra.clock "DateFormat" 'EEE d MMM HH:mm:ss'

Then refresh the menu bar using:

killall -KILL SystemUIServer

Using w you should be able to add week number, but I haven't had any luck with that and it keeps resetting the week number.

  • Have you manage to get the year in there. y MMMM dd – markhunte Apr 19 '15 at 13:10
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    Day-0 is working, thanks! I'll wait a few days, just in case it breaks, but if it doesn't you'll get the bounty! I'm a bit perplexed by its author claiming he "won't update it for Yosemite", since it actually seem to work anyway… – o0'. Apr 20 '15 at 9:05
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    It is mainly support for dark mode that it is lacking. If you don't use dark mode or aren't bothered by a weird UI in dark mode you should be fine. – Tum Apr 20 '15 at 9:19
  • As dark mode is now supported in v2 of Day-0 I updated the link – Tum Apr 24 at 9:48
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Day-O 2 is the best app for this IMO. https://shauninman.com/archive/2016/10/20/day_o_2_mac_menu_bar_clock

If you uncheck "Show Icon," it's basically identical to the default widget.

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