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Is it possible to get the Windows 7 taskbar clock to display the seconds, without having to install a utility?

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It doesn't appear that can be done without a 3rd party app. Would a clock gadget work for you? Those display seconds. –  CharlieRB Apr 11 '13 at 19:17

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

This is not currently possible without using third party apps. While windows allows you to change the short-form and long-form of your default times (Control Panel -> Region and Language -> Additional Settings -> Time -> Short: hh:mm:ss tt), this change does not take effect on the taskbar clock.

As @CharlieRB noted, you can use the Clock gadget to display the clock on your desktop, or you can click on the time to see an expanded calendar/clock flyout with the time in seconds.

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Currently it's not possible to make Windows 7 taskbar clock display the seconds without 3rd party app.

However, 7+ Taskbar Tweaker from http://rammichael.com/7-taskbar-tweaker adds this functionality with one single click:

7+ Taskbar Tweaker

Taskbar clock showing seconds

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