Replace the Windows System Tray Clock

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 21, 2008
Updated • Jan 10, 2012
Software, Windows

The Windows System Tray clock does not provide many ways to customize its appearance and format. The only two options that are available are to display the clock - or not - and to change the time. The position of the taskbar changes the information that the clock is displaying. The clock will only display the time on a horizontal Taskbar and provide date information when the user moves the mouse over the clock.

A vertical taskbar on the other hand displays the time, date and the weekday in the system tray. The best way to create a custom solution would be to use a third party tool like Timekeeper which can fully replace the Windows clock. Timekeeper adds itself to the available Toolbars of the Taskbar which can be selected by right-clicking the taskbar.

The Windows clock can be disabled in the same right-click menu as well. Timekeeper basically can display date and time information in multiple ways to suite the needs of the user. It comes with predefined time and date formats that can be added with just a click and custom ones where the user can pick the information that he wants to see.

Data can be placed separately in various formats. It is for example possible to display the time in 24 or 12 hour format with or without leading zeros. Several information are unique to the application and not provided by the Windows system clock. This includes displaying the timezone as well as day and week of year.

The software adds also visual elements that can be changed. The user can select an alignment for the clock, a text color, background color or choose a transparent background and even the font. That's great if a custom theme is being used or if the user wants a larger font for the time so that he can see it better.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Goro said on June 29, 2013 at 5:52 am

    also free and works on 32 and 64bit os

  2. Gregg L. DesElms said on June 4, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    For years, the best-known little freeware utility which allowed one to thoroughly customize the System Tray (aka, “Notification Area”) clock has been a little thing called “T-Clock.” It’s been around since 1995, and has been re-worked/modified by various people over the years. One guy out there even violated the open-source intent of the original programmer and tried to make a commercial version of it (avoid that one).

    I’ve been using T-Clock since that first 1995 version. The more recent one, however, which I now consider to be “best-of-breed” among the various T-Clock versions was written by a fellow who calls himself “Stoic Joker.” He stripped-out a few features from earlier version, leaving in only the most salient and useful… and by so doing, actually made it better.

    The problem is that Stoic Joker’s web site isn’t reliable. It’s up for awhile, then down, then up… oy! Plus, I found in a forum posting where he described some kind of computer catstrophe which made it so he lost a bunch of his most recent source code. So, I don’t actually know what the future of his version of T-Clock now is.

    However, it’s worth having his version because, from what I can tell, it’s the only one that works properly on Vista… maybe even Windows 7, too (though I’ve not tested that yet). It also works on earlier Windows versions.

    It’s lightweight (not bloated or bloatware), no adware or spyware or anything in it, and it has some interesting capabilities (in addition to being able to make the system tray clock look just the way one likes it).

    Because Stoic Joker’s site is so often down, I put an unofficial page for his utility (from which it may be downloaded) on one of my servers… just as a public service. The page has no advertising or any ulterior motives. As Stoic Joker did a public service by writing the best-yet copy of T-Clock, I’m doing a public service by ensuring that it’s still available. Nothing more. The page also has some useful configuration information on it which I’ve never seen anywhere else.

    So, if anyone’s interested…

  3. Roman ShaRP said on June 30, 2008 at 10:26 am

    And I again saying that Windows PowerPro did it for me: my clock are on window caption level and so don’t consume precious space from system tray and taskbar.

  4. voxluna said on June 25, 2008 at 9:23 am

    The clock utility I prefer is LClock, which was part of the Vista Transformation Pack for XP. LClock is available separately. It’s relatively simple, but I much prefer it over the default XP clock, plus it allows access to the base system when needed (such as Internet Time sync).

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.