In this tutorial I will talk about how to change the date and time settings in Windows 7. I will show you how to customize the format of the date and time, how to have additional clocks for different time zones in your taskbar, how to update the time from an internet time server and how to change time synchronization settings.
Change The Date, Time & Their Format
In order to change the date and time in Windows 7 you have to right-click on the clock from the taskbar. Then, from the right-click menu, select 'Adjust date/time'. Alternatively you can click on the clock from the taskbar and then on 'Change date and time settings'.
A new window will open with three tabs: Date and Time, Additional Clocks and Internet Time.
On the first tab you can change the date, time and the time zone. Also, there is information about the Daylight Saving Time. You can select if you want to be notified or not when the clock changes.
To modify the date and time click on the 'Change date and time' button.
In the new window, set the appropriate time and date. In the calendar you can 'zoom-in and out' if you click on the name of the month. You will see all the months from the current year and, if you continue to click, all the years from this decade and finally all the decades from this century. You can zoom back in by selecting the appropriate decade, year, month and day. Also you can use the small left-right arrows to move from one decade/year/month/day to another.
In the same window there is a link to 'Change calendar settings'. Click on it if you want to change the date or time format.
The Customize Format window will open. Here you have the possibility to change the date format. There are two date formats that you can customize: a Short date and a Long date. The short date appears in the taskbar right under the clock and the long date appears only when you hover or click on the clock from the taskbar.
You can use the drop-down list menu to choose from different date formats or you can directly edit each format.
As an example, let's say that I want to display the short date like this: Wednesday, 01 / Jan. - 09. In order to accomplish this I will have to write in the short date format text box this code: dddd, d / MMM - yyyy. As you can see you can add punctuation marks like '. , / -' and spaces, between the default day, month or year code. One limitation that I noticed is that you cannot insert MMMM (which is the full name of a month) in the short date format. Apparently this code works only in the long date format.
This is how this code will look like in the taskbar clock.
Then you can choose an interval of years so that when a two-digit year is entered, it will be interpreted correctly.
You can also choose the first day of the week which may vary depending on your country.
NOTE: If you are not satisfied with the settings you've made, use the Reset button. This restores the system defaults settings for numbers, currency, time and date.
On the same Customize Format window, one tab to the left, there is the Time tab. Here you can edit the time format, the same way it was described for the date format. We have the Short time and Long time which are the same as the short and long date: the short time can be found in the taskbar and the long time can be found only if you click on the clock from the taskbar.
Here you can also rename the AM and PM symbols. For example, you can replace them with Day and Night or Morning and Evening.
When you are done editing, click on the OK button and then again on the OK button from the Region and Language window and finally one more time on OK at the Time and Date Settings window.
How To Change The Time Zone
To change the Time Zone you have to open the Date and Time window again. Right-click on the clock from the taskbar and select Adjust time/date from the right-click menu. Alternatively, search for 'change time zone' in the Start Menu search box and click on the first result. The Date and Time window will open.
Now click on 'Change time zone'.
In the new window, click on the drop-down list and select the appropriate time zone. Then click on OK and if you don't have anything else to modify, click again on OK.
Depending on your time zone the Automatically adjust clock for Daylight Saving Time option will be available or not. If you want Daylight Saving Time to be enabled leave the small check box in front of the option selected, if not, deselect it.
Add Clocks For Multiple Time Zones
You can add two clocks in the system tray, that display the time in other parts of the world. It is a quick way to learn the time in other countries, without manually converting it yourself. A detailed step by step guide can be found here: Add Clocks to the Taskbar's Notification Area in Windows 7 & Windows 8.
Change Internet Synchronization Settings
If you want to change the server Windows 7 uses to update the time automatically on your PC, open the Date and Time window and select the Internet Time tab.
Here you can see which is the current synchronization website, when the next synchronization is scheduled, when was the last synchronization done and if it was successful or not. To change the settings, click on the 'Change settings'.
You can select if you want the time to be synchronized with an Internet time server or not, simply by selecting or deselecting the small check box in front of the 'Synchronize with an Internet time server' option.
Then, from the drop-down list you can select a different time server. If you prefer a time server which is not present in the drop-down list, you can copy and paste its web address in the server text field.
If you want to manually update the time on your computer and synchronize it with specialized time servers on the internet, click on the Update now button, then click on OK and again on OK in the Date and Time window.
Customizing the date & time settings does involve quite a lot of windows and steps but it is not that complicated. Most of the menus and options are self-explanatory. Tips such as adding two additional clocks for different time zones can be very useful if you are working with people from different countries. With one click you get to see the hour in their country and schedule meetings at a time which is suitable for everybody.
If you have other interesting tips to share, don't hesitate to leave a comment.