How to change time and language formats in Windows 10

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 7, 2015
Updated • Jun 26, 2018
Windows, Windows 10

The following guide provides you with information on how to modify time and language formats and settings in Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system.

Windows 10 includes options to change formats, e.g. short and long time and dates, date and time itself, automatic options, the interface language, and to add support for other languages to the system as well.

One of the main usability issues of Windows 10 is that preferences are divided into two interfaces.

While it was always the case that you could access some preferences and options only through backend tools like the Group Policy Editor or the Windows Registry, it was never an issue for most users as all basic configuration preferences were accessible in the Windows Control Panel.

Most time and language settings are listed in the new Settings app that Windows 10 ships with. You may know the app already if you have worked on Windows 8.x systems before but if your last operating system was Windows 7 or earlier, you may not have come in contact with it before.

Time & Language Settings

time language windows 10

Do the following to open Time & Language options in Windows 10:

  1. Tap on the Windows-key, and either type Settings and hit enter, or locate the Settings link in the Start Menu and click on it. Tip: If you prefer keyboard shortcuts, use Windows-I to open the Settings application.
  2. Select Time & Language from the options displayed in the Settings window.

Time & Language options are divided into three main areas: date & time, region & language, and speech.

Date & Time

Date & Time is the default settings page that gets opened when you open the Time & Language section of Settings. It lists the following preferences (updated for Windows 10 version 1803)

  • Toggle the automatic setting of the time by Windows.
  • Toggle the automatic setting of the time zone by Windows.
  • Change date and time.
  • Change the time zone.
  • Adjust for daylight saving time automatically (default: on)
  • Show additional calendars in the taskbar (default: none)
  • Change date and time formats which define how time and date are displayed by Windows.

Earlier versions of Windows 10:

  • Set the time automatically. If set to on, Internet servers will be queried to sync the time of the system.
  • Set time zone automatically. If enabled, Windows will always set the right time zone.
  • Change date and time. These become active only if you disable the "set time automatically" option.
  • Time Zone. Pick the correct time zone that matches your location.
  • Adjust for daylight saving time automatically. Queries Internet servers to sync the correct daylight saving time.
  • Show additional calendars in the taskbar. Option to show more calendars in the taskbar automatically.
  • Formats. Displays the following formats: first day of the week, short date, long date, short time, long time.
  • Change date and time formats. Allows you to adjust the formats displayed on the Date & Time page. Here you can switch between 12-hour and 24-hour formats for instance (the tt at the end indicates 12 hour formats).

In addition, you find two links under related settings. The first, "additional data, time & regional settings" opens the "Clock, Language and Region" control panel applet. The second the "additional clocks" preferences of the Control Panel.

Region & Language

region and language

The region & language Settings menu enables you to change the country or region, and to add, set or remove languages from the system.

  • Country or region. Windows and apps may or may not use the selected region to deliver local content. The setting affects Windows Store and some apps among other things.
  • Languages. You may add new languages to the operating system depending on the version of Windows that is installed on the computer. These languages may be set as the default system language.

In addition to adding languages to Windows 10, you may download optional components on top of that. A click on an added language and the selection of options displays these components on a new page.

You may download handwriting and speech data, and set a different keyboard layout as well.

download languages

The link under related settings leads to the classic time, date and regional Control Panel applet.

You may use Region & Language settings to change the Windows 10 interface language to another language. The process is not straightforward, however:

  1. Click on "Add a language" and select the language that you want Windows 10 to use.
  2. Click on the language and then on "Set as default".
  3. Click on the Options button to download available language components, e.g. basic typing or handwriting modules, and modify keyboard interfaces as you see fit.
  4. Select "additional date, time and regional settings" on the main Region & languages page.
  5. Click on "language" when the Control Panel window opens.
  6. Double-click on the language you added previously.
  7. Click on "download and install language pack" and wait until the installation completes.
  8. Select "Advanced Settings" on the main Control Panel page.
  9. You may set overrides for the Windows display language and default input method (handy if you want to use different languages).
  10. Select "apply language settings to the welcome screen, system accounts and new user accounts" if you want that.
  11. Restart the computer.



The speech menu enables you to select the input language with which you speak to the device. Please note that you find only those languages listed there that you have downloaded speech packs for (only the default system language is available for selection by default because of this).

You may download language packs from the "region & language" menu for languages that you have added to the system.

You may enable "recognize non-native accents for this language" if you are a non-native speaker or if the speech recognition system has trouble understanding you even if you are a native speaker.

Lastly, you may set the default voice for apps (male and female are provided), and the talking speed.

Clock, Language and Region Control Panel

customize date time

The Settings application offers access to most time, date and language preferences of the operating system but not to all.

The following options are only found in the control panel currently:

  • Enable or disable notifications when the clock changes due to daylight saving time.
  • Add additional clocks.
  • Select a different Internet time synchronization server.
  • Change numbers or currency formats, for instance the default measurement system or curency symbol.
  • Customize the data and time format (the Settings application displays only templates you can select one from).
  • Select start and end dates for two-digit years in Calendar (default 1930 to 2029).

Closing Words

Most options are accessible directly from the Settings app and those that are not, are linked from it. Still, it would be useful if Microsoft would consolidate the preferences to make them all available in a single location.

How to change time and language formats in Windows 10
Article Name
How to change time and language formats in Windows 10
Find out how to change date, time, region, language and speech settings in Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

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