I work in an environment where seconds are critical.

Is there a way to display the time with seconds in the menu bar on macOS Big Sur? More specifically, I am referring to the Date and Time at top right in the menu bar which users can click on to open the Notification Centre.

The instructions I find on the Internet seem to pertain to older macOS versions, and are no longer applicable.

  • Please edit the question to address the issues mentioned in the comments so it can be reopened.
    – nohillside
    Mar 31, 2021 at 7:33
  • I’ve gotten menu bar text in, but still this could be closed as a duplicate if edited further to specific one version of macOS. Some versions allow this, others require third party software. It’s a fine question to vote up, just it is likely to remain closed as dupe unless it changes what problem is being solved fundamentally by further edits. Hopefully the edits adequately the answer as we understand it today.
    – bmike
    Mar 31, 2021 at 10:12
  • I've fleshed out the question, hopefully it will be reopened so that the information may flow to future seekers, and @nohillside may put the solution he provided as an answer, which I will gratefully accept.
    – P i
    Apr 2, 2021 at 14:01

4 Answers 4


The display of seconds in the menu bar can be enabled in System Preferences. The specific panel is different depending on the macOS version but you can find it by entering „Seconds“ (in whatever language your Mac is set to) in the search field at top right of the System Preferences window.

  • Upvoted because this also works in the very different control panel of Ventura. Jan 20, 2023 at 8:21
  • In case the clock doesn’t change you can run the following command in the Terminal to restart the menubar killall -KILL SystemUIServer.
    – B. Martin
    Feb 2, 2023 at 11:28

On macOS Big Sur, go to System Preferences > Dock & Menu Bar > Clock and check "Display the time with seconds".

Display time with seconds image


On macOS older than Big Sur, the System preferences can be configured to show seconds on the menu bar clock:

catalina system preferences for time and menu bar

catalina menu bar

Apple has changed up the menu bar on Big Sur specifically and people have opinions about that for certain. There is no seconds display that’s easily enabled on 11.3 and below.

  • 4
    In Big Sur its "Dock & Menu Bar -> Clock"
    – nohillside
    Mar 28, 2021 at 20:11
  • @nohillside well I'm not on Big Sur and it works fine for me as the images show.... The OP needs to state the system so we know as it makes a difference.
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 28, 2021 at 20:12
  • Agreed @SolarMike closed as unclear for now and once it’s edited, it likely will be an exact duplicate of existing questions covering how to do this. +1 for a useful answer to a practical (but vague for now) question.
    – bmike
    Mar 31, 2021 at 10:13

On macOS 13 (Ventura):

  1. Navigate to System Settings...
  2. Search for "seconds".
  3. Enable Display the time with seconds.


Instructions for how to enable seconds on the macOS system time.

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