Basically I want to change the date/time that appears on the right side of the menu bar in OS X to only display numbers (like Windows).

I've managed to add dates but currently it shows: 10 Aug 10:49

I'd like it to show: 10/08

Is that possible?

  • Are you speaking of the date/time that appears on the right side of the menu bar in OSX?
    – jcbermu
    Aug 10 '16 at 8:55
  • @jcbermu Yes exactly. It seems to be locked to show month in short text format. I was just wondering if there is something that can be done about it?
    – Warpzit
    Aug 10 '16 at 9:03
  • @MátéJuhász Not hardware related but I believe Super user doesn't imply only hardware... this sounds simple to solve but it really isn't, which is why I went here...
    – Warpzit
    Aug 10 '16 at 9:05
  • 2
    Though you can change the date formats for full, long, medium & short... they unfortunately don't affect the menu bar clock, so the short answer is, no, it can't be done from prefs. There may be a 3rd party solution so I'm not posting this as an answer.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 10 '16 at 9:17

There are 3rd party apps as Day 0. Check if it does what you want and if it is compatible with your version of OS X.

Also you can set modifications from Terminal using a command like:

defaults write com.apple.menuextra.clock "DateFormat" "EEE MMM d  h:mm:ss"

You have to substitute the string between the quotes. As this is not enough documented you have to tinker with it.

The change used to take effect immediately but in recent versions of OS X the defaults are in a "prefrence cache" and you can't see the changes immediately. In that case you need to issue a killall SystemUIServer to reload the Clock.menu Menu Extra preferences.

Nothing guarantee that these changes are applied permanently so it's possible that they revert to the original format after a reboot.

Use http://nsdateformatter.com/ as a reference for the date/time format modifiers, but keep in mind the menubar accepts only a subset of them. To check if the modifier is supported, read out the date format back after it was applied (the delay is needed to the UI server to reload):

$ defaults write com.apple.menuextra.clock "DateFormat" "d MMM w HH:mm" \
  && killall SystemUIServer \
  && sleep 2 && defaults read com.apple.menuextra.clock "DateFormat"
d MMM  HH:mm

As you see, the week modifier is not supported and stripped from the format string. This post suggests to modify the Full date format to include what you need (week number in my case) and it will show up when you click on the date/time entry in the menubar:

enter image description here

  • 3
    I liked the terminal approach but didn't quite do the job. I could change time format etc. but it will still show "Aug" instead of a number even if I only used 1 big M or small m. Nothing seemed to do the trick...
    – Warpzit
    Aug 10 '16 at 14:24
  • Day 0 does the trick. I also found this: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/180847/… So apparently we have a separate stack for only mac :S
    – Warpzit
    Aug 10 '16 at 14:28
  • I'm sorry to hear that. It is an obscure and undocumented feature, so it was a matter of luck.
    – jcbermu
    Aug 10 '16 at 14:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.