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How To Change Displayed Date/Time Format In Windows XP And Vista

People who use Windows may have noticed that the clock in the system tray displays time in the 24 hour format by default. I always prefer 12 hour format, if you want to know how to change it or if you simply want to get rid of AM and PM to save the space to stick in one more taskbar icon! Well, here is the solution.

In order to change how the time is displayed on your computer, click on Start > Control Panel, and choose Regional and Language Options.


Click the Customize button underneath the Standards and formats section. Below that button, you’ll also see an example of how each setting is currently configured for Number, Currency, Time, Short Date, and Long Date.


Click on the Time tab and change the time format to H:mm:ss (note the uppercase H) and press OK



The uppercase H or HH stands for 24-hour format, whereas the lower case h andhh means 12-hour format. The single h is if you do not want to display leading zeros for single digit hours and hh is if you want a leading zero.

To further customize your Date / Time settings, here are some useful tips:

  • Type uppercase H or HH to Display time in a 24-hour format
  • Type lowercase h or hh to  Display time in a 12-hour format
  • Type two characters, HH or hh to Display leading zeros in single-digit hours
  • Type a single uppercase H, or lowercase letter, such as h, m, or s to suppress the display of leading zeros in single-digit hours, minutes, or seconds
  • Type lowercase t to display a single letter to indicate AM or PM
  • Type lowercase tt to display two letters to indicate AM or PM
  • Type single quotation marks (’) around text to display text


  1. Asad, thank you. That was so much fun. I fretted over control panel so many times but could not figure it out. Thank you again.

  2. This is good option for using the softwares, when any one can understand the actual date especialy in east countries.

  3. Thanks for the information
    giving this type of information to the people is the real social work
    so great

  4. thanks! dont know how this thing got changed by itself, but it did while i was in the process of removing some malware-i am happy you posted how to change it back again!

  5. Hey, while you’re in there changing the time, why not add your name, or whatev’ seems like there’s 12+ spaces available to put your own little note in there; ie: be back soon or it’s brew time, I’m sure you’ll pick something good…FTW/FreedomThruWisdom!

    • Uh, FTW stands for, “For The Win”. i.e. And Jordan dunks, 2 points, FOR THE WIN!” – Radio Announcer at a Bulls game. Also used in online games, or in any situation where someone just proved someone else wrong in a particularly heated debate/argument.

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