How to Change Date and Time Formatting and Preferences on macOS

There are many ways to format dates, with slashes, dashes, or even periods, and you can have leading zeros and a 2- or 4-digit year. Everyone has their own preference for date and time formatting, and you can easily change your Mac settings to reflect this!

Open System Preferences and go to the Language & Region pane. You can change the first day of your week here, which is reflected in Calendar, and enable or disable 24-hour time.

If you click Advanced, there are three panels, the second being Dates. Here you can set your preferences for short, medium, long, and full date formats — you can type as well as use the blocks already there, which are displayed in the Date Elements area at the bottom of the pane.

The next tab is Times, and again you have short, medium, long, and full time formats. You can also change AM/PM to say something else if you like, such as using a sunrise emoji and a sunset emoji (press Cmd + Ctrl + Space to open the emoji picker in macOS).

These formats are used by Pages, Numbers, and many other applications — including OmniFocus — to show you dates and times in the format that you prefer, so if you like your time to always show which timezone it is, then you can set this up.

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