It’s the little things that sometimes drive people to distraction. That’s true of Macworld readers wondering how to modify the date and time in the Menu Bar–a feature available for decades on Macs. With macOS 11 Big Sur, Apple moved customization options away from the Clock tab in the Date & Time preference pane, to System Preferences > Dock & Menu Bar.
With the increasing number of items managed in the Dock and the Menu Bar, it made sense for Apple to shift all of those settings to one place. However, with nearly all the other Menu Bar items, you find a checkbox or other settings in their respective preference pane and in the Dock & Menu Bar pane.
No bother. Just open the Dock & Menu Bar pane, click Clock under Menu Bar Only in the left-hand list, and you can customize just as you always have: use a 24-hour clock, flash the time separators for each passing second, and so on.
The bonus of this new location? A preview of all your choices appears in the upper-right corner of the pane for Clock and all other Menu Bar and Control Center choices. It’s a great compact visualization even though you can see the changes take effect instantly in the Menu Bar, too.
Of course, this will change once again with the release later this year of macOS 13 Ventura! In that upcoming version, you find Clock and Menu Bar options in Settings > Control Center, which now includes all Control Center items and Menu Bar only items. Click Clock Options to the right of the Clock label to gain access to familiar choices. The preview? It’s gone.
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