How to display the full date in the Windows 7 system tray

Quick! What’s today’s date?

If you’re like me you probably moused over the system time in the bottom right corner of your screen and waited for the date tooltip to emerge.

That’s fine and all but I want to show you a smart way to make the date a little more conspicuous.

One way to get the date and time display in the system tray is to right-click the taskbar, go to Properties and uncheck Use small icons.

Of course the unfortunate corollary of this imprudent decision is a gruesome looking taskbar.

Your icons become jumbo and juvenile sprites that waste precious screen space and subtract any cool points accrued for having a pretty taskbar.

Windows 7 date in system tray

ahh but there’s always a better way.

When you’re hanging by the water cooler with your coterie of geeky co-workers talking about the weather and how Justin Bieber should get deported, you can be that guy who raises his hand and says:

Hey everyone, check out my computer.  I’ve got the date on the taskbar.

Wait, <chuckling ensues> what – you actually have a date tonight?

No stupid, I mean I have the date in the system tray. I figured out this cool hack

Hey if this sounds like you don’t fret though, I actually was that guy that’s why I can josh about it but now I’ve got a hot wife so it’s all good.

But I digress, what was I talking about again?

Okay, so the smarter way to hack your date (sounds like a bad horror film) is to slap open the Registry Editor and shrink the DPI (dot’s per inch) settings for your fonts.

By default it’s set to 96 DPI buy by methodically decreasing this value you can get the font small enough so that both the date and time show up together on your desktop.

Click Start and enter this command:

regedit

Then in the Registry Editor go to File and choose Export to backup the registry to an alternate location such as a USB drive.

When the export finishes (which can take 5 minutes or more depending on the size of your registry) click through the registry keys to:

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG\Software\Fonts

Then in the right pane double click LogPixels and change the value to 80 and choose Decimal.

Click OK then log off Windows and log in again to commit the change.

Registry LogPixels

Depending on your screen resolution you’ll probably find yourself using trial and error to test decimal values between 50 and 95.  Once you find your sweet spot you’re set; however, it’s kind of annoying that ALL YOUR TEXT (not just the date) is infinitesimal now.  If your text looks microscopic this registry hack isn’t a viable option.

Is there a better way to do this?

Yep, it’s called T-Clock 2010.

Forget the Registry stuff, a coder by the name of Kazubon released the first version of T-Clock in the late 90’s and in 2003 coders augmented the projected and created a new build for Windows 7.

Called Build 95, it takes care of all the registry alchemy for you.

Download and extract Build 95 zip from the DonationCoder.com forum.

I’m running the 64 bit version of Windows so I clicked the Clock executable in the x64 folder.

Windows 7 T-Clock 2010

When it opens you can do all kinds of cool stuff like change the font, color, size, format and position of the clock.

In my opinion, T-clock is an estimable program that true date/time aficionados should use.  There’s such a wide gamut of options and the program is so customizable that it’s kind of hard to hate it.

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Posted in Windows 7
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  • This was a huge help – thanks! I downloaded T-Clock 2010 (Build 95) so that I could see the date as well as time, in my taskbar WITHOUT having to hack the registry or uncheck the “use small icons” checkbox. My only minor quibble is that now, the clock displays 9:30am as 09:30am — ugh! wish there was a way to fix this 🙁

    • Martin Donaldson

      T clock properties > time format > advanced clock configuration options.

      change the “hh:nntt” to “h:nntt” and the 1st 0 will disappear. 10, 11, 12 etc will work as normal.

      • dude you’re a genius! thanks man – that worked PERFECTLY