On El Capitan and before I could set a different format language than the display language in OS X. So the UI of OS X would be English, while the date and number formatting would be Dutch. However this setting was changed when upgrading to macOS Sierra, it now uses English for both display and formatting. I would really love to revert this change to what it was on OS X El Capitan.

OS X El Capitan:

enter image description here

macOS Sierra: enter image description here


It appears this can be done from the command line. For example Dutch format language (the nl part) with Netherlands (the NL part) set as the Region, even with English as the UI language, should result when you execute this in Terminal:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleLocale -string nl_NL

This was found at tidbits.com.

  • does this require a reboot?
    – WEBjuju
    Feb 23 '17 at 19:19
  • update it does not require a reboot, but fiddling with the date in preferences was necessary to get it to "take". also, fwiw, that link at tidbits indicated south korea would be ko_KOR but what worked for me was defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleLocale ko_KR
    – WEBjuju
    Feb 23 '17 at 19:27
  • @WEBjuju I can't imagine why you would think the Tidbits article indicates you should use the Alpha 3 code KOR. It clearly says you should used the "Alpha 2" code and all the examples it gives have 2 letters. Feb 23 '17 at 21:43
  • ah, right, it does not. i had followed the link to the country code list without doing a good job of reading. and then out of sheer just moving too fast since i was also doing something else at the time, i had combined the iso alpha-2 code with the iso alpha-3 code. tidbits is very clear (now that i actually read it) that one is to combine the ISO 639-1 language code and the ISO 3166-1 alpha 2 country code.
    – WEBjuju
    Feb 24 '17 at 1:11
  • 1
    Tried this on Sierra 10.12.6 and doesn't work. Fortunately I found this gist and found a missing -string flag. Tried again with flag and it works Apr 19 '18 at 5:06

I used to have different time and fate format language (Spanish) than the main or OS Language (English) in El Capitan just like you, and I spoke with Apple Support regarding this issue and they told me that at the moment those changes are the current updated settings. There is a possibility that third party software can do those changes as El Capitan was able to do but unfortunately Sierra at the moment cannot do that change.

They told me as well that usually with things like this, with so many people depending on it, most of the time it will come back with updates but just can't guarantee when.

So, right now the option is downgrade to El Capitan if you relay on this configuration on a daily basis, or change the OS to the language that you need your time and configuration settings.

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