Configuring Date & Time on a Mac

Set the Date & Time Preferences on Your Mac

Date & Time Prefs Icon

Open System Preference and choose Date & Time

  1. In the Date & Time Tab, choose “Set date and time automatically:” and your region.
  2. As long as your Mac is connected to the Internet, your date and time will be updated automatically (including daylight saving time and when you are traveling).
  3. If you wish to use a non-local date and time format, click the Open Language & Region… button.

Date & Time Prefs

Next, click the Time Zone tab and select “Set time zone automatically using current location” to have the date & time updated automatically when you travel.

Time Zone

Last, click the Clock tab.

Here are my recommended settings:


  • I have “Flash the time separators” selected because it’s a good way to tell if your Mac has frozen (the separators stop flashing).
  • I recommend not selecting any “Date options:” because it saves menu bar real estate and you can see this info by clicking on the time in the menu bar.
  • “Announce the time:” is a helpful feature if you work from home or wear headphones in the office.