How do you show the date in the Mac menu bar?

show date on the Mac
It's a date: get your Mac to show the precise date

Sunday, Monday, happy days! Tuesday, Wednesday, happy days! Thursday…. OK, you get the message. The Mac – by default – will tell you what day it is in menu bar at the top of the screen. What it doesn’t tell you, unless you prod it to do otherwise, is the actual date (12th, 13th etc). So how do you show the date in the Mac menu bar?

This is a dead simple fix.

Left-click on the day and date at the top of the screen, in the menu bar. Now select Open Date & Time Preferences.

In the pop-up menu that appears, tick the option to “Show date”.

You may also need to click on the lock in the bottom left-hand corner of the window and enter your password/use Touch ID to make the changes.

It is worth noting that if you leave Apple’s Calendar app in the Dock, it will display the current date on its icon, perhaps saving you the need to duplicate the info in the menu bar, although I prefer to have both.

By the way, whilst we’re noodling around in this menu, you may have noticed the option to effectively turn your Mac into a cuckoo clock, and have it read out the time on the hour, half hour or quarter hour.

This is ostensibly an accessibility feature, designed to help people with visual impairments who may not be able to see the small clock. But if having the time read aloud every so often would be useful – if you’re working in a photography studio, say, and not always directly in front of your screen – then knock yourself out.

NOW READ THIS: How do I snap windows on a Mac?

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About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at

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