You can now configure Windows 10 to display seconds in Taskbar (clock) without using a third-party program. This is possible using a hidden registry setting which is documented in this article.
How to Show Seconds in Windows 10 Taskbar Clock
To display seconds in the Windows 10 Taskbar clock, follow these steps:
- Start the Registry Editor (
- Go to the following registry branch:
- In the right-pane, create a DWORD (32-bit) value named
ShowSecondsInSystemClockand set its data to
- Exit the Registry Editor.
- Logoff and login back. Or restart the Explorer shell for the change to take effect.
That’s it! This makes the Windows 10 Taskbar clock to show seconds.
A little bit of history about the tray clock
In early beta versions of Windows 9x, the taskbar clock displayed seconds, with a blinking colon as in digital wall clocks and wrist watches. But Microsoft noticed considerable performance impact of those blinking clock (every second).
Microsoft’s Raymond Chen has a blog post on this topic in his blog “The Old New Thing”. Check out Why doesn’t the clock in the taskbar display seconds?
So, due to performance hit, blinking colon (and the seconds display) was later removed. Microsoft had to drop the feature to save that 4K of memory it occupied, taking into consideration the systems with low hardware specifications.
That’s history. Nowadays computers are equipped with very fast processors and more than sufficient RAM, and displaying seconds in the Taskbar clock wouldn’t cause a performance/benchmark impact.
3rd-party Freeware to show seconds in tray clock
These programs let you show seconds in the tray clock and customize how the date, day and time are displayed in notification area. This registry edit works in Windows 10 v1607 and higher, and tested up to v1809.
About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.