I want the menubar to display the date and time in the menubar as follows:

2012-10-03 09.12.14

which translates into Year-Month-Day 24hr.min.second

What I've tried:

Gone into System Preferences > Date & Time > Clock

Selected: Digital; Display time with seconds; use 24-hour clock

This gets me close to having the time right.

Gone into System Preferences > Date & Time > Date & Time > Open Language & Text > Formats > Dates > Customize

Changed every date format (short, medium, long, full) to have yyyy-MM-dd

Gone into System Preferences > Date & Time > Date & Time > Open Language & Text > Formats > Times > Customize

Change every time format to kk.mm.ss

The problem:

It still shows the date like:

3 Oct 13:19:12

in the menubar.


I am running Mac OS X 10.7.5

Any help or suggestions you can give, much appreciated!

4 Answers 4


There is a free app called Day-O that is flexible and can do what is being asked: https://shauninman.com/archive/2016/10/20/day_o_2_mac_menu_bar_clock


Whilst I'm not sure this is possible with the built-in menubar clock formats, you can acheive the format you require using the excellent iStat Menus ($16, but it does have a 14-day free trial).

enter image description here

  • 1
    Well, that appears to do it, but I can't believe that the solution requires payment.
    – JBWhitmore
    Oct 4, 2012 at 2:08

I know it's an old thread but in case anyone else is looking for alternatives, I recommend Itsycal. Absolutely FREE and customisable date/time with calendar view options

joined three screenshots of Itsycal


Are you aware that OS X uses multiple Formats for Date and Time (depending on where it is shown) and you must modify the right one? E.G. the timestamp in Finder has a different format than in the top right corner.

  • Any idea which one? I've tried several combinations like the OP has and it only modifies the way the date/time is shown in the Finder, not the date/time displayed in the menubar
    – binarybob
    Oct 3, 2012 at 8:04
  • I've modified all of them to be identical to what I want. The problem remains.
    – JBWhitmore
    Oct 3, 2012 at 11:41
  • mhm I even found this macyourself.com/2008/08/31/… maybe it is a bug Oct 3, 2012 at 12:43

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