Change 24 Hour Clock to 12 Hour Clock in Windows 10, 8.1 & 7

If you like to change the 24-hour clock to 12 hours format or vice versa, then the below steps going to be useful. Also, you will learn how to display the AM or PM symbol and even customize it in the system tray. We have already published a guide about changing the date format in Windows 10 and other Windows versions, this guide shows how to play around with time format and change 24-hour clock to 12-hour clock in Windows 10, 8.1 and 7.

If you are new to Windows 10 and wondering how to display ‘My Computer’ (This PC) icon on the desktop, here is the guide for that. Changing the 24-hour clock to 12-hour in Windows 10, 8.1 or other versions should be done from the control panel settings. I assume that you already knew how to reach Control panel settings in the latest Windows versions.

24 Hour To 12 Hour Windows 10

With the 24-hour clock format, the system tray time will look like below.

24 hour clock in Windows 10

How to Change the 24 Hour Clock Format to 12 Hour in Windows 10

The below steps and screenshots are taken from Windows 10, but also Windows 8.1/8 and Windows 7 will have similar settings except how you access the control panel. Hence the same steps are applicable for the older version of Windows OS.

1) Go to Control Panel. You can search for it in Windows 10 search easily to access the classic Control panel.

2) In the category view of the control panel, click on the ‘Change date, time, or number formats’ as shown below.

open time format settings

3) Here you can change the settings of a short and long time. If your Windows 10 computer is showing 24-hour clock then the format settings would be in ‘H’.

‘H’ means 24-hour and ‘h’ means a 12-hour clock format.

time format notations

Click on the drop-down menu of the short and long-time format and change it to a 12-hour format by selecting the ‘h’ in the hours.

short and long time settings

The ‘tt’ means AM or PM. Obviously, when the time format is set to a 24-hour clock, it can’t show the AM or PM. When the 12-hour format set, you can select the ‘tt’ to show the AM or PM in Windows 10 or Windows 8.1/7.

Press Apply to make the changes.

Now your time format will change to 12-hour format and show the AM or PM symbol.

changed format

By the way, changing the time format can be done in the normal Windows 10 settings app also. Search for date settings as shown below and select ‘Change the date and time formats’.

Open Date Settings In Settings App

In the next screen, select the format which has the AM or PM symbol. The time format with AM/PM is the 12-hour clock and the other one without the symbol is the 24-hour clock.

Change Date Format

If you want to customize the AM/PM symbol to any letters, then you need to visit the control panel.

Change the AM/PM Symbol and Customize it in Windows 10

Do you want to change the AM or PM symbol to something else just for fun? If yes, you can do that too. Most of the Windows Operating Systems allow changing this symbol.

Click on the Addition Settings in the formats settings, then select Time.

additional settings

In the Time tab, type the text you want to display in the AM/PM symbol.

change the am-pm symbol in Windows 10

Once you pressed Apply, you can see the change in the system tray.

changed am-pm symbol

Credit to ASKVG for the hint.

As a recap, the capital ‘H’ in the short or long time format will show the 24-hour clock in Windows 10, 8.1 and 7. To change the 24-hour clock to 12-hour clock format, you need to change and select the format with a small letter ‘h’. Displaying the ‘tt’ in the 12-hour clock will show the AM/PM symbol.

Dinesh is the founder of Sysprobs and written more than 400 articles. Enthusiast in Microsoft and cloud technologies with more than 15 years of IT experience.

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