How to Change from 24-hour to 12-hour Clock in Windows 10

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With the default settings, Windows 10 displays a 24-hour clock on both the taskbar and the lock screen. While there is nothing wrong with the 24-hour format, many users find the 24-hour clock difficult to read and prefer the easy-to-read 12-hour clock.

If you are using Windows 10 and prefer to change the default time format from 24-hour to 12-hour or vice versa, you can change the time format in the settings and control panel.

This guide shows you how to change the time format from 24 hours to 12 hours or vice versa in Windows 10.

Please note that changing the time format from 24-hour to 12-hour time does not affect the clock on the lock screen. The clock on the lock screen will continue to display the time in 24-hour format. Unfortunately, it is now possible to change the time format of the clock on the lock screen.

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To change the time in Windows 10 from 24-hour format to 12-hour format

The following steps and screenshots are from Windows 10, but Windows 8.1/8 and Windows 7 will have similar settings except for access to the control panel. The same steps therefore apply to the older version of the Windows operating system.

  • Right-click on the clock in the lower right corner of your screen, then click “Set Date/Time”.
  • Click on “Date, Time and Regional Formatting” on the right side of the window.
  • Scroll to the end of “Data in Regional Format”.
  • Click “Change Data Formats”.
  • Under “Short Time”, select “9:40 am”.
  • Close the window
  • Your time is now displayed in 12-hour format and the AM/PM value

To better explain this, on a computer running Windows 10 that displays the time in 24-hour format, you can find the Long Time and Short Time settings with an uppercase “H” representing the 24-hour format. Simply click on the drop-down menu and make a selection that contains a small “h”.

  • Short Time: H:mm – Change to h:mm tt
  • Long Time: H:mm:ss – Change to h:mm:ss tt

The letters “tt” in the 12-hour settings above represent AM or PM. Therefore, the time on your Windows 10 computer will now display as 18:45 or 18:00.

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