How to change the date, time, and time zone

Roman Loyola
10 May, 2011
View more articles fromthe author

This tutorial will show you how to adjust the date, time, and time zone on a Mac using OS X 10.6.7. The procedure should be similar on older versions of the OS.

Perfect timing

When you spend a lot of time in front of your Mac, it helps to have the date and time appear in the Mac’s menu bar. But it doesn’t help if the date and time are wrong.

Step 1: System Preferences

Adjustments to the Mac’s date, time, or time zone are done through the Date & Time system preference. Click on the Apple menu, and select System Preference. In the section labeled System, click on the Date & Time icon.

Or, if the date and time are already appearing in your menu bar, you can click on it, then select Date & Time Preferences.

Step 2: Date and Time

Here you will see a calendar page and a clock. If you check the box for Set Date and Time Automatically, the Mac will use an Internet connection to check a network time server and set the date and time based on what the server says. You can choose what time server to check by clicking on the pop-up menu (pictured).

To set the date and time manually, uncheck the box for Set Date and Time Automatically. You can then enter a date in the date box, select a date on the calendar page, enter a time in the time box, or select a time on the clock.

Step 3: Formats

Click on the Open Language & Text button. This actually opens the Language & Text system preference. Four tabs appear across the top; the only one we are concerned with is the Formats tab.

Click on the Formats tab. Here, you can determine how the date and time appears in the menu bar. Click on the Customize button to tweak the settings to your liking.

Once you’re done with these settings, click on the back arrow button. This will take you back to the Date & Time settings.

Step 4: Time Zone

Click on the Time Zone tab. You can select your time zone by clicking on your approximate location on the map. Click on the Closest City pull-down menu and select a city closest to your location.

You can use the option to Set Time Zone Automatically Using Current Location, but this requires an Internet connection.

Step 5: Clock

Click on the Clock tab. Here, you have a variety of options to choose from.

You can opt to show the date and time in the menu bar. You can also have the time show seconds, use flashing separators, and more.

Check the box for Announce the Time, and your Mac will say the time on the hour, half, hour, or quarter hour. Click Customize Voice to choose a voice, adjust the volume, and more.

When you’re done, click on the close window button (the X button on the upper left), or press command-Q on your keyboard.

Leave a Comment

Please keep your comments friendly on the topic.

Contact us